Love is Elementary

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Kynna, Aug 20, 2012.

  1. Mom's Appearance
    Little girl's

    "Melly, come on. We've got to go, sweetheart," the little girl's mother called for her. The redhead woman finished packing the brown bag of her daughter's lunch. The little girl with strawberry blond hair came in, finally dressed, dragging her princess bag behind her. "Mama, I'm too sleepy to go..."

    "I know, baby. But you have to go to daycare so Mama can find a good job," she explained gently, helping her daughter into the chair seat. Tiffani was a single mother, at 22, who doted on her only little piece of happiness. The now four-year-old girl, Melissa, had been an unexpected gift from horrid misfortune. Her first year of college, Tiffani had become friends with the wrong guy and had went to the wrong party. She became pregnant from the drunken encounter and never went to school again. Now she was scrapping the bottom of the barrel just to get her precious girl some food. So every day, thanks to the money from child support, Tiffani was able to put her baby in daycare while she looked for a job to take care of every other bill that child support couldn't pay. She didn't have long before she'd be evicted from the little apartment they'd been in for the past year. She couldn't go to her mom; her mom had her own financial issues.

    "Mama, can we go to the park after daycare today," Melissa asked, taking a bite of her cereal. Tiffani smiled and kissed the top of her head as she made sure everything her girl needed was in the pink backpack. "Of course we can, sweetpea. Hurry, though, we'll be late." Once the girl was done with her breakfast and her teeth brushed, she and her mama walked out and down the street to the daycare. "You look pretty today, Mama," Melissa smiled up at her. "Thank you, honey," she smiled at her daughter. She dropped her daughter off and gathered herself before setting out, going door to door to find the job she so desperately needed.
  2. Jesse was greeting children as they walked in, some escorted by parents and others that either left as soon as the child was out or who got out with their child but didn't walk all the way to the building with them. She was distracted from the mother who was talking to her, her tone a little off when compared to when they spoke with the husband around, when a mother and child who were walking towards the daycare caught her attention. It wasn't the first time she'd seen the child, but today was the first day she'd had the opportunity to see her mother.

    "Morning, Jesse," she was greeted as the daughter walked up with a sleepy smile.

    "Good morning, Melissa," Jesse said in return with a brighter smile. "Go on in and find a spot. We'll start in on some activities in a short while." The child walked on in, and Jesse looked up to see if the mother was still there. She wasn't, and Jesse frowned. A throat clearing brought the teacher's attention to the mother who still stood in front of her. "Ah, my apologies, Mrs. Hammlin."

    The woman continued as though Jesse hadn't been distracted away from her, and soon enough it was time to go inside, much to her relief.

    Closing the door, Jesse turned to the children that were left in her care. Some of the younger ones had been led to another room, too little for some of the activities that the older children could do.

    "All right, how about we begin the morning with an art project?" she asked cheerfully, brushing aside her short locks of dirty blonde hair that fell into her eyes and tossing the kids a bright smile.
  3. Melissa grinned. "Yaaaay," she cheered. She loved art projects. Her Mama always liked the gifts that she made. "Miss Jesse, what are we making today," she asked her. She liked Miss Jesse; she was always cheerful, like her Mama. She bounced excitedly in her chair, her strawberry blond pigtails bouncing every which way.

    Tiffani got an application from each of them and turned them in by lunchtime. She had a few interviews, but nothing promising. Discouraged and about at her breaking point, she shuffled back to the daycare. She opened the door. "I'm picking up my little girl early today, is that alright," she asked the lady at the desk.
  4. Jesse heard the door open and looked up. She'd been working on the next activity while the kids were playing around the room until lunch. Seeing that it was the woman who had brought Melissa to the day care today, she jumped to her feet and brushed aside hair that had, once again, fallen into her eyes.

    "Ah, yes. Um, Melissa, right?" she asked, though she didn't wait for an answer before looking for Melissa and calling her over. As the young girl walked towards them, Jesse turned back to the woman. "I'm Jesse."
  5. Tiffani looked just defeated. The stress of finding a job in time to keep her daughter off of the streets was definitely getting to her. She smiled at the kind lady who came up to get her daughter for her. "Yes," she confirmed her daughter's name. "I'm Tiffani, it's nice to meet you," she offered her hand to shake. "You guys really do a good job; Melly has a lot of fun. It's all she talks about at home."

    "Mama," Melissa hugged her mother's leg. "You look tired, Mama," she said, being the honest kid she was. She didn't meant to be insulting, just stating a fact. "I am, I think we'll go to bed early tonight," she hugged her daughter, taking her princess backpack. "Wait, mama, can we stay for lunch? Can she, Miss Jesse? Do we have enough food for Mama, too?" Tiffani chuckled. "Melly, I don't know if I'm allowed to do that." "That's why I'm asking, Mama," Melissa smiled at her mom.
  6. Jesse smiled happily; she wasn't sure whether to hug Melissa senseless for the opportunity to talk her mother more, or run scared for the hills. But she couldn't deny that she wanted to speak to the woman. Her eyes met Tiffani's, who looked so dull and tugged at Jesse.

    "You're more than welcome to stay," Jesse told her softly, trying to calm down a little. She cleared her throat and gathered up the other kids to get them ready for the lunch time. "All right, kiddies, clean up your toys and we'll head to the mess hall for your lunch time." Looking at how tired Tiffani was, she walked her to the desk and motioned to the chair. "Why don't you sit while we get the room cleaned up? It shouldn't take but a few minutes."

    Reluctantly leaving the woman's side, she put a hand on Melissa's head and they walked towards some toys and started cleaning up. She spent several minutes with a couple of kids who were busy trying to finish building something with the Legos so that it could be on display for the rest of the day, and tried to convince them they could finish it after lunch before she took them to the recreational room for a game. It worked, and the rest of the room was cleaned up pretty quickly.

    The kids lined up to leave, and Jesse turned to Tiffani.
  7. Tiffani smiled, looking relieved that they could stay. "Then how about I eat with my baby," she told Melissa with a smile on her face. "Yaaay," the little girl cheered and hugged her mom. As Jesse offered her the chair, Tiffani gratefully took it and smiled up at her. "Thank you," she told Jesse wholeheartedly. "Thank you, Miss Jesse," Melissa chirped like a good girl, making her mother chuckle.

    Melissa made sure to clean up really good so her mom could see how good she was a daycare. She felt show-offy. She frowned as one of the kids put something in the wrong place and moved it, but not with the other one objecting. They started a little argument, which her mom heard and walked to the entryway. "Melly," she said, giving her a look. Melissa hung her head and muttered an apology to the kid. Immediately, she seemed to bounce back from her sulk to announce to Miss Jesse that the cleaning was all done, and that they were all hungry. Tiffani chuckled at the silliness of her daughter. She smiled at Jesse, who she just now got a good look at. She was a beautiful woman; she idly wondered why she'd never really looked at her before.
  8. "Are you ready to eat with this bunch of monsters?" Jesse asked, teasing the kids and ruffling one boy's hair. The kids giggled as he protested the action. "All right, troops. Face forward... let's go!"

    The children eagerly left the room, Jesse following along and trying not to look at Tiffani. Unfortunately - or fortunately, she couldn't decide - her eyes kept skirting in the woman's direction.

    "So, ah, I guess I've missed you when you've dropped of Melissa before," she commented softly, trying to strike up a conversation. "I think I'd have remembered if I'd seen you before." And she would have too. The woman was beautiful, even as tired as she looked right now. She was hard-pressed to keep from trying to touch her, even just platonic, ghost of a touch!
  9. Melissa giggled and lead the kids to their next destination with her mom following. Tiffani followed, more cheerful than she had been when she walked in. She noticed Jesse kept looking in her direction, though she figured she might be shy to start out conversations. "I usually just drop her off and scoot. I've been job hunting. So far.. not luck," she sighed, looking alittle weary again.
  10. Jesse nodded. "Well, you don't have to be a stranger around here." She smiled warmly, turning towards Tiffani a bit more as they neared the small dining area. "I wouldn't mind talking in the mornings. It'd probably help get your day starting a bit brighter, having someone to unwind with in the mornings."

    It was grilled cheese day, one of the specialties for the cooks in the kitchen. They were quick, easy and took very little prep time. Clean up wasn't even all that bad, either. It didn't seem to faze them when Jesse reached out to grab two of the prepared plates and hand one to Tiffani. It wasn't glamorous; just the grilled cheese, a bowl of fruit, and a bowl with a lid on it that was probably either tomato soup or chicken noodle soup. Both have appeared with the meal in the past, so it was up in the air on which this was.

    "Would you like to sit over by the door with me, or join Melissa with the other kids?" she asked, pointing towards the tables.
  11. Tiffani smiled cheerfully. "I'd like that, if I won't be in the way," she chuckled. She accepted the food gratefully and was pleased to see chicken noodle soup in the cup. As to who she wanted to sit with... She looked over at her daughter, who was occupying herself by talking with her friends. "I think I'll sit with you, if that's alright," Tiffani said, smiling back at Jesse. She idly wondered why she had never stayed and talked with her daughter's day-caretakers. Any normal mom would do that, wouldn't they? Any good mom, at any rate.
  12. Brightening, Jesse led the way to the table, set down her plate, and pulled out a chair for Tiffani.

    "Not all the parents stop in, so you don't have to," she explained as she sat next to her. "But if you're just job hunting, it might help to have some pleasant conversation in the morning, yeah?"

    Her eyes scanned the room, keeping an eye on the kids even as she glanced beside her at Tiffani. If she felt a little braver, she'd just say that she wanted to talk to the woman and that was her motivation. However, she was too much of a chicken to actually say anything. Besides, who was to say she'd even be interested?

    Jesse focused on Melissa for a moment. She had a father, it was just up in the air about whether or not he was in the picture. And it wasn't her place to ask.
  13. Tiffani offered a smile and thanks for the chair and took a seat. "I don't think I could tell you the last conversation I had with someone non-work related other than Melissa," she chuckled. She took a few bites and a sip of her drink. "So tell me about yourself, Miss Jesse," she chuckled, adopting her daughter's name for her. She glanced over at the kids, all the kids seemed to like it here. And she was glad Melissa had found some friends to play with during her stay at the daycare center. She decided it would be best to keep her here, to help develop social skills, before school started next year. At least then, Tiffani would be able to afford food for the two of them, a few clothes from Goodwill, and keep her baby in school.
  14. "Whoa!" Jesse exclaimed. "Just Jesse, please. Miss Jesse is for the kids, to get them geared for the whole school thing," she explained. Grinning, she added, "I'd much prefer if you'd just call me Jesse."

    Looking back at the kids, she folded her hands under her chin thoughtfully. "As for telling me about myself, there isn't much to tell. I work here, because I love kids and never had the desire for college to teach in a school. I've worked here for six years, and volunteered in high school when I could the two years prior. Outside of here, I don't really do much, I'm afraid." She laughed and turned to Tiffani. "I'm in a bowling league; that's as exciting as my evenings get!"
  15. Tiffani laughed before taking a sip of her drink. Her first truly happy sound after seeing her daughter since she stepped foot into the building. "Ooh, bowling sounds fun," she smiled. "I haven't since I was little. My cousins and I would bowl every weekend during the summer. We were never any good at it, just enjoyed each other's company," she smiled.
  16. Jesse grinned. She was glad to hear a happy laugh from the woman; it was a very pretty laugh. It made her happy to know that she caused it. "You're welcome to join me, next time. We have another practice tomorrow afternoon." She nodded towards Melissa. "Some of the other women have kids that come along. We usually buy a lane for them to play on."
  17. Tiffani smiled. "I would love to join you. I'm sure Mellisa would enjoy it, too. But I'd feel horrible; I wouldn't be able to help pay for any of it." She looked sheepish and a little sad. She couldn't tell the woman that she only had the money for Melly to be in the daycare because of child support. She looked over at Melissa, wishing she could afford to do fun things with her like she did when she was a child.
  18. She studied Tiffani's expression, knowing it wasn't a happy one and wishing she was able to do something for her. Shaking her head, Jesse put a hand on the woman's forearm. "I'll take care of your expenses, and we all split the bill for the kids. I don't mind paying a little more. You should have a little fun! And, it'd be a great way to meet some other women in the area. Most of them are married, so they appreciate the chance to get out away from husbands. Or wife, in one's case," she amended with a laugh. "I think you'd have fun, if you wanted to go."
  19. Tiffani smiled at her gratefully. "You are very kind. Thank you," she said from the bottom of her heart. "Let me go ask Melissa if she'd like to go," she held her arm as if hugging the closest thing of her she could and stood, going over to her daughter. "Melly, how would you like to go bowling?"

    "That's when you roll the ball down a line, isn't it," she asked, turning to her Mama.

    "It is," Tiffani smiled, nodding.

    "Can we, Mama? I wanna try it," she smiled.

    "Of course we can, honey. I'll go plan it out, okay?" Tiffani smiled and kissed the top of her head before returning to Jesse. "She'd love to," she said cheerfully. "Would you mind if we met here? I don't have a vehicle," she admitted sheepishly.
  20. Jesse couldn't stop the massive smile she was sure was on her face.

    "That would be all right," she said happily. "If you'd like, we can meet earlier and I'll treat you to dinner too." Hearing the words she'd said without thinking, she blushed and rubbed the back of her neck. "That is, if you're all right with that..." Jesse was sure it sounded like she was asking her out, and she didn't even know if she was available!