Volume I, No. 1, Fall 1973




THE TURN OF A KEY

By Terry Tyre

Well, this is it. I suppose it really hasn't sunk in until now, that this is really the end. Things will just never be the same again because no one will ever really forget. Surely they couldn't forget the ciphering matches, school trips, pie suppers and the many other things that make a country school what it is or what it was. I should think that all the good they have done would make them unforgettable.

I'll miss my students. During a year of having the same students for all their classes I get close to them. All their traits, habits, and personal problems soon become known. If Sue Woodard comes to school quiet, you know something's wrong, but for little David to be quiet is the regular way of things.

Yes, I'm going to miss all this, and as I look around, I realize there are many others here who will miss it, too. Many of the older people who attended school here when they were children, and whose children attend school here, are now standing in groups talking of old times. Several have a faint mist of tears in their eyes. Yes, I'm not the only one that will miss this old school. There are even several students looking around with sad looks in their eyes. Ed Cranton, who is usually so energetic, and always outside playing baseball, is standing quietly, gazing around the classroom. There is Carol with her arms full of books I gave her. Even Carol, who has always claimed to despise school seems pensive. The younger ones are excited only about the coming summer vacation. They have all gone out to the playground after giving their end of school program.

The day's over now-the last day. The room is slowly emptying. Some are hurrying out to do their chores at home, others are leaving slowly, stopping to talk to various neighbors. Many stop to shake my hand and to wish me well. Several comment on their child's progress during the past year. The younger children are all running around, screaming and laughing, shouting their joyful goodbyes as they are herded to their cars by their parents.

They're all gone. I walk back to my empty desk, open a drawer, and pull out a key. This will be the last time I lock this door. I walk slowly between the desks, touching this one, then another, feeling the rough stained tops, the edges worn smooth by years of use. It will be difficult to forget the children who have sat in these desks.

Drawing a deep breath, I walk quickly to the open door and step out into the sunshine. The dust is settling over the hill from the last car, and I can just barely see the top of the yellow bus going around the far corner. Then I reach in to draw the door shut and turn the key for the last time.

[55]




Copyright 1981 BITTERSWEET, INC.


Next Article | Table of Contents | Other Issues


Local History Home