Clara arrived at her teaching job at Coal Hill Secondary School after dropping off her ten year-old daughter Hayley at school.
Despite that it was a beautiful day Clara was not happy when she arrived. It wasn't that she didn't like being a teacher. In fact she loved it but what she didn't love was coming in early to prepare for the arrival of a new teacher.
Everyone was so excited about him but Clara didn't know much about him except his name was David Smith and he was a brilliant and admired University Professor and for whatever reason he decided to leave his job to come teach at a regular school.
No matter how she tried Clara was wary about this old, stuffy and posh professor type coming in. Ever since her divorce to Danny, Clara became a guarded person taking care of her daughter on her own never needing anyone's help.
Still Clara had some friends and family but when it came to falling in love she always made sure that never happened. Clara learned a long time ago to never trust a hug or let anyone in.
She grumbled as she got out of her car and started walking towards the building, the nice cool breeze soothing her. "At least it's a nice day." She thought to herself looking up at the blue sky.
She reached the school's front steps when she noticed a young man in a tan caretaker's outfit and an old fashion cap on his head crouched down planting sunflowers in the school's garden.
He seemed very involved in the flowers; planting each one carefully. Clara slowly walked closer to him. "Excuse me?" She said curiously.
He looked up and smiled. "Hello!" He replied in a thick Scottish accent.
"Um, are you the new caretaker?" Clara asked folding her arms.
He gave a half shrug. "Not exactly but gardening is a hobby of mine."
Clara smirked. "So you just randomly plant flowers in front of schools?" She said sarcastically.
The man gave a thoughtful grin. "Hmm, sounds like a good career choice; I'll have to look into that."
She noticed the soil stuck to his uniform and made a face. "You might want to get cleaned up before going inside; you're a bit dirty."
"What's wrong with getting dirty?" He asked wiping his hands as he stood up.
Clara was taken aback at his tall height but when he removed his cap revealing his messy brown hair and dark brown eyes and good looks she almost forgot herself.
"N-nothing. I- just m-meant" She blushed while nervously tugging her earlobe.
He smiled and gave a light chuckle. "You okay?"
Clara nodded avoiding his gaze. "Yeah, um, I better get inside I have to help welcome a new teacher." She replied pretending to check her purse.
"Oh, that's nice. What's their name?" He asked casually.
Clara shrugged. "His name's David Smith or something."
He smiled slightly and wondered if he should tell her that he was David Smith but decided to have some fun with her.
David nodded. "What's he like then?"
"I don't know, All I've heard is he used to be a Professor." She sighed heavily.
"Wow, Professor; he sounds important doesn't he?" David replied folding his arms.
Clara scoffed. "To be honest they might think he's fantastic but I think he's probably an old, posh, stuck up, snob."
David almost blurted out a chuckle but refrained. "Really? How come?"
She looked at him suspiciously. "You like to ask a lot of questions, huh?"
He shrugged. "Yeah, well I like to do a lot of things I probably shouldn't."
Clara was getting lost in his eyes but stopped herself. "Don't get close." She thought.
She cleared her throat. "I better go. It was nice meeting you."
David pressed his lips and nodded. "Well, good luck with Mr. Smith." He smirked.
Clara smiled slightly at him. "Thanks." She checked her watch and saw she was nearly late and dashed up the steps.
He watched her go into the building shaking his head and laughing softly. Just then Mr. Chesterton came outside smiling.
"Ah, Mr. Smith I see you've met Miss Clara Oswald." He said.
David nodded politely. "Yes, she seems very nice."
Mr. Chesterton looked over at the flowers beaming. "My these flowers are beautiful! You certainly have a natural talent for gardening."
"Thanks, I hope to teach Caitlin how to garden when she's old enough." He replied.
Mr. Chesterton nodded. "How old is Caitlin, now?"
He smiled. "She's four." David glanced at him. "And thank you for letting me do this. Sunflowers were Rose's favorite." He added softly.
He smiled at David as they walked through the garden. "You're welcome. Your late wife certainly left a lasting impression on the school. It was only fitting that we do something to honor her."
David just quietly nodded remembering her blond hair and pretty smile.
Mr. Chesterton lowered his eyes before looking at him. "Are you sure you want to teach Rose's art class?"
David nodded. "Rose enjoyed teaching that class and I promised her before she died I would apply for her job and carry on for her."
"Do you regret leaving Oxford?" Mr. Chesterton asked.
David scoffed. "Nah, I never was really crazy about that school. I always felt out of place there."
Mr. Chesterton smiled. "Well, we're glad you're here."
He smiled back. "Thanks. Well, I better get ready." David thanked him again before going into the school.
David walked through the dim grey halls glancing at the artwork on the walls his footsteps echoing off the tile floor as he passed by the red lockers.
It was surreal being back at the school; he hadn't been here since he was a kid. Everything was one big reminder of his youth.
He walked past a couple of vending machines until finding the men's restroom. He walked in with his sports bag and started to get ready.
He was already dressed he just had to remove the caretaker's uniform and put on his jacket, tie, glasses and change shoes.
After changing he stood in front of the small dirty mirror wearing a blue suit, red tie and converse sneakers; he smiled slightly at his reflection.
David exhaled and pulled out Rose's picture and wiped his eyes; god he missed her. He could still hear her voice lovingly promising her forever to him but unfortunately life had other ideas.
Rose's death was very hard on him, mainly because it was so unexpected. It happened shortly after Caitlin was born.
It saddened David that she would never know her mother but he beamed at how much Caitlin was just like her.
David put the photo back and glanced up at the ceiling. "Wish me luck, sweetie." He placed his glasses back on and hurried out into the hall where Mr. Chesterton was waiting to introduce him to the faculty.