Written during the Corona Virus Pandemic with the hope of bringing a smile to someone’s face – or at least provide a short distraction during these challenging times. Stories are created based on one-word prompts that were submitted by friends. Each friend is assigned a character name and I develop a short fictitious story that integrates and upholds the word.
Odessa Hammond: Perseverance
Odessa stood in the same place she had over 25 years ago. But it was different this time. The lights were dim, and the room had undergone a makeover – no doubt necessitated by the changing times. She was surrounded by silence, with only the faintest sounds off in the distance of the corridor.
“Whispers of the past,” she quietly said as she set down her bags. The last time she was here, the room was filled with promise and smelled of young ambition.
Now, however, it was empty. Letting out a sigh, Odessa stepped back and leaned against the wall. Resting her head gently against the wall, she closed her eyes and took three long deep breaths. On each inhale, Odessa tried to shush the thoughts that made her want to walk away with reckless abandon. And with each exhale, she did her best to let it go.
No, Odessa. You’ve come too far. You are Odessa Hammond. You are strong, you are funny, and you have so much experience to share. You can do this, Odessa. Remember how hard you’ve worked, remember what you’ve overcome, and remember your why. It’s what’s brought you here.
Odessa wasn’t one to give herself pep talks. She was usually the one people turned to for them. But today, it was only her and this big expanse of a room staring back at her. It seemed both intimidating and exciting. It’s the place that started it all, and it would be the place that she brought it all full circle.
The loud, obnoxious ding on Odessa’s phone startled her. She looked at the reminder. “Almost time,” she said – her hesitancy replaced with assurance. Odessa could feel the tightness in her chest loosen, and she took one more healing deep breath. She was breathing in 1-2-3, breathing out 1-2-3.
Odessa stepped away from the wall, turned up the lights, and walked to the back of the room. She unlocked the door, turned around, and faced the front of the room. Her room. The place where she would teach and the place where she would learn. It was here where she learned much about perseverance, and now they had welcomed her home.
Odessa returned to the front of the room and waited. This time as the teacher. “Who are you kidding, Odessa,” she thought. “They are going to teach you also.”
Soon, the students started piling in – full of hope, full of ambition, and full of promise. And no doubt some perseverance too.