Previously: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, Part 11
Like the shores of Normandy, Will’s phone exploded with noises and flashes indicating that SOMETHING had indeed occurred: two missed calls, a voicemail, and six text messages. Will first noticed the text messages, not just the numbers, but the sources: all references. Will’s heart would only have the opportunity to rest for a few minutes from his bout with a treadmill, but it again kicked into overdrive. “This is good,” he thought to himself. As he read through the text messages, he saw that all of his references had been contacted, and all of them informed Will what they were asked and how they replied. Finally, Will braced himself as he hit “play,” on the voicemail.
"I know who I am. And after all these years, there's a victory in that."
- Detective Rust Cohle, True Detective
“Hello Will, this is Miss Director of Teaching and Learning from Rural Local Schools. We wanted to get in touch with you in regards to the position you had interviewed for. As we mentioned in the interview, we wanted to wrap up the process as quickly as possible, so if you could call me back at my cell-phone at your earliest convenience, that would be great…”
The remainder of the phone-call might as well been gibberish for Will. He quickly scribbled the numbers down, entered them into his phone, and hit the green “call” icon. Will could see his shirt visibly pulsing in front of his heart.
“Hey Will!” Miss Director greeted him, “thanks for getting back to me so quick!”
“Not a problem!” he politely replied, trying to hide his excitement.
“Well, as I said in your voicemail, we wanted to go ahead and move forward with the selection process. We talked to your references, and were very happy with what we heard. And with that, we would like to offer you our 8th grade science position.”
There was no hesitation in his voice: “Absolutely.”
With that, Will deviated his day. Rather than head home, he immediately drove to see his fiance at her summer job. He walked into the store, his shirt saturated with sweat. Her face lit up. “Hey!” she greeted him, “what are you doing? How did it go?”
“I figured I would stop by on my way home...I think it went well.” Will said.
“Good! When will you know?”
“Pretty soon,” Will said, withholding the emotion for just a moment more.
His fiance continued to talk to him about her day, asking what he was going to do, and asked what they would do for dinner. It was then that Will struck.
“I think we should go out to eat,” Will said.
“Ok.” Fiance said cheerfully. She smiled. Maybe she already knew. Will smiled back.
“Hey…” Will began quietly, as he didn’t want to cause a scene at her store, “I got the job.”
Her mouth gaped open with her Cookie Monster smile, and her eyes welled up.
|Pretty much, yeah.|
Mrs. Handler texted Will a few hours after accepting his new position to congratulate him, and informed him that the state exam scores came in. Science apparently tested at a 7-year high. Will felt somewhat justified now, as Mr. Evans had let go of ⅓ of the people responsible for this. “I bet he feels like a jackass,” Will thought to himself. As fate would have it, Mr. Evans probably did, amongst other emotions.
Will then got another message, this time from another one of his references (the one who’s wife worked with Mr. Evans). He, too, congratulated Will on his new position, and concluded his message with a little nugget of joy: “rumor has it that your old boss is getting forced out. If so, KARMA!”Will texted Mrs. Handler in a fit of joy: “I don’t mean to be the rumor mongering type, but is there any truth to this?”
Her response was simple: “Yes.”
Apparently, Mr. Evans had burned his last bridge and was more or less demoted into some sort of administrative job within the district. He would no longer serve as principal. The witch was dead. His lifeless little legs outstretched from under a gigantic house.
Call it karma. Call it fate. Call it divine intervention. Will hadn’t seen this type of reversal of fortune since 3rd grade when he read a Curious George book. He had been to hell and back. All the drama, the stress, the work, and to not only have things not only work out, they appeared to work out better for everyone. Will was employed. His former colleagues now rid of Mr. Evan’s reign of terror. Perhaps Will had been a martyr in all of this. He didn't care to know.
For 300 days, Will had endured more than anyone ever should have endured. He weathered the perfect storm of personalities that seemed to have led to his dismissal. And while his psyche and his physical state were made leaner than before, he did not falter….
The hot sun, the warm Gulf breeze, the drink in his hand; life wasn’t too bad, even if the rum was a little warm. Mexico will do that to you. Somewhere bordering the two oceans, one of beachgoers and one of the saltwater variety, Will sat and contemplated the ongoing saga that was once his professional life. To say that Will had been persistent was an understatement. For 300 days, Will experienced stress he had never undergone before. A mere two weeks after the school year, a glimmer of hope appeared in the form of a small, rural district some 35 minutes away. While Will’s confidence had been shot for a moment, his desire to rid himself of the ice cold grip of the tyrant outweighed it. He had escaped, and landed into a better spot than he probably deserved. It was this stern desire that guided him all along.
He leaned his head back on his beach chair, fixated next to his wife’s, and sighed a sigh of relief. Beads of sweat streamed down Will’s sunscreen slathered body and plopped into the hot sand, evaporating instantly, like all of Will’s 300 days of apprehension, scorched away in only an instant in the hot summer sun...
For those that endured...thank you dearly for reading.