Mrs. Steadman


Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.


Stretching her arms above her head, Mrs. Steadman circled her head forward, left, back, right. She rolled he r shoulders, sighing with fatigue.  Two more papers to read and correct, and she could quit for the day. She had saved the best for last, knowing  Bryce and Jillie would give her  some quality writing.

Settling down for the last two papers, she pushed her glasses farther up the bridge of her nose and flipped past the cover page and the outline to the first page. Wait! What?

There was no first page!  Only  a scrawled note saying, “Sorry, Mrs. S.  I just don’t have the time to finish this.  I guess that means a big incomplete.  Bryce.”

Dumbfounded, Mrs. Steadman stared at the note. Bryce had never let her down before, always turning in beautifully written, orderly compositions and papers.  She’d have to talk with him, of course.  A late paper would be better than no paper.  Well, she still Jillie’s paper to read.  Best get to it.

The next morning, Mrs. Steadman waited for Bryce to appear in her second-hour lit class. But he didn’t.  Absent for the first time all year.  It seemed strange, but she had to set it aside and teach the students who were all waiting to have their papers returned.

She had to wait until her free period at 2 pm. before she could call Bryce’s house.

“Hello, it’s Mrs. Steadman, Bryce’s  senior lit teacher.  He didn’t show up at school today.  May I speak with him, please? ”

“Mrs. Steadman!  I’m so glad to hear from you!  Bryce hasn’t come home since he left after supper last night.  We have no idea where he is, and the police say it’s too soon to do a missing person report. I hardly know what to do or what to think. He’s never done anything like this before.”

Mrs. Steadman went to find Jillie.  If anyone would know where Bryce was, what was wrong, Jillie would know. She’d been very quiet in class that morning.

Jillie was in study hall.  Mrs. Steadman spoke with the teacher, then walked to Jillie’s desk and said, “I need to talk with you, Jillie.  Come with me.”

Jillie slowly stood, followed Mrs. Steadman out into the hall. A quickly whispered conversation revealed that Bryce  had stayed the night with Jillie’s brother in his apartment. He was in trouble, and afraid to face his parents because they would be so hurt.


Later, after all the forms had been filled out, bail set and paid, and a hearing scheduled, Bryce turned to Mrs Steadman, who had stayed with him through the whole day. ” Mrs. S., I’m so ashamed and so mad at myself for being so stupid.  Thanks for supporting me. I know you could have spent the day better.  It means a lot.”

“Well, Bryce, I wasn’t about to let you get away with an incomplete in my class!  You’ll have to finish that paper, you know!”

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