“Yes you’re moving into your new apartment on Saturday,” she said. The CS team had left long ago, so the entire school was dark. Just the lights in her glass office, where we stood. I had stayed late to finish some intensive lesson materials, so it was just me and her.
“but I have to talk to you about something,” she continued, rubbing her temples.
Oh dear here it comes. Whatever it is, it can’t be good.
“You’ll only be there for a month,” she sighed.
What? What does that even mean? “okay…?”
“Because you said you wanted to switch campuses, and I want you to leave too, so I sent an official request to Avalon to move you.”
She let that comment sit in the air while I connected the dots.
“So, I’m going to another campus after this term?” I may have sounded just a little too excited but I couldn’t keep it in.
“No. Amos said that there was not another position open for you at the moment.”
I was quiet. It was the battle over who would say it first.
“So…what are you trying to say…?” I was going to make her say it.
“I think it would be best if you started looking for another job–outside of Avalon.”
It was a weird feeling. I wasn’t sad. I wasn’t angry. I wasn’t so-so. I just felt this weird pain in my side like I’d been shot. I’ve never felt it before in my life and I don’t have a name for it. Just; physical pain from words.
“So…you’re firing me?”
“I’m suggesting you look for employment elsewhere in case Avalon can’t place you,” she nodded, “and if you get this stressed, maybe you should not do this at all.”
That bullet dug deeper. She still didn’t get it. She was the reason I was stressed–not the job.
“And if you want to leave before intensives…you can…”
Wait what. I think the confusion showed on my face when she realized how ridiculous that it.
I’m still not quite sure what “intensives” means. The best explanation I have is that it is 2 weeks of 9-5 instead of 12:30-8:30. And it’s 20 minute classes instead of 50, with material we made instead of Avalon material. Everyone shudders when they are mentioned and I know it is impossible to request vacation time during them. And Director asked the substitute we’ve had a few times to come then as well. So from these clues I’m deducting that “intensives” are two weeks of intense living that needs all hands on deck.
So for her to suggest that I leave before intensives was like…what?
She was so desperate for me to leave that she was willing to dispose of me before intensives–material that I had made–?
It all clicked–why she had asked the Sub to be here. She assumed I would quit. That I would take the first opportunity out of here. Like she wanted me to.
“Well…I don’t really have any where to go…” I said sarcastically.
She looked legitimately disappointed. She really wanted me to storm out of there and never return. I was tempted no doubt, but in this rare clarity that only comes when you’re blamed for something you feel no blame for, I could see what she was doing. If she convinced me to quit, then Avalon would get to keep my deposit and a plane ticket home. Whereas if they fired me, they would have to pay for these things.
No lady, I see what you’re trying to do.
“Well, you are here until the end of this month and then we have another girl to replace you. She’ll stay in a love motel for 10 days, the same as you, and then you have to move out.”
What? Another girl? This is actually my life right now? The woman is basically saying I have a month to find another job.
“So…just to be clear…you’re firing me?”
“No, I’m not. You want to leave this campus. And I want you to leave.”
While I didn’t have any witty comebacks this time, I wasn’t choking up or tearing up or anything. I felt really weird, but I don’t think it showed.
“Okay…well then…thanks for telling me.”
And I left.