Joanie heard the bell ring and the scraping of chairs against the floor as her students prepared to leave the classroom. Abigail Foster stopped by Joanie's desk on her way out.
"Thank you so much for explaining the assignment again, Mrs. Arcola. It makes so much more sense to me now."
"Why, you're certainly welcome, Abigail. Any time you need some extra help, please don't hesitate to ask."
Abigail smiled, showing her dimples. She was a petite blonde with wispy hair that tended to fall in her face a lot if she wasn't wearing a ponytail and soft blue eyes. She had a quick smile, a gentle manner, and an aura of innocence about her that charmed all the faculty members who knew her. She was a dedicated and enthusiastic cheerleader.
"You're coming to the game Friday night, aren't you?"
"Wild horses couldn't keep me away from that game, Abigail." Joanie smiled reassuringly at her.
"Great! See you there, then!"
"Good-bye, Abigail." Joanie watched Abigail's retreating back for a moment before gathering her things and heading for the teacher's lounge.
Upon entering the lounge, Joanie noticed that the P.E. teacher and football coach, Jack Parrish, was sitting at a table drinking coffee and reading a newspaper. He looked up when Joanie entered.
"Hello, Jack." She nodded a greeting on her way to the coffee pot.
"Hi there, Joanie." Jack and Joanie were the two newest members of the faculty and were both still learning the ropes.
"Abigail Foster's one of your students, right?"
"Yes, I just saw her five minutes ago. She needed a little extra help with an assignment."
"That's Abigail, always trying to do the best she can with any assigment she's given. I was just thinking how much more of a breeze teaching would be if all my students were like Abigail."
"She always tries so hard, and she has such a pleasant attitude," Joanie agreed.
"She's certainly a joy to teach," Jack continued. He finished his coffee and headed for the gym.
"How did your day go, honey?" Joanie's husband, Chachi, asked that evening.
"It went all right," Joanie told him. "One of my students had a little trouble understanding an assignment, so I had to take a little extra time to explain it to her. She asked if I was going to the game Friday night, and I told her I would. She's a cheerleader, and she's such a sweet girl."
"That's nice." Chachi sometimes felt at a loss for words when his wife went into detailed discussions about events at school. "Say, do you know where the can opener is?"
"I imagine it's right where you left it last time, honey."
"Found it!" He grinned and held up the object in victory. "The evening is saved after all!"
Laughing, Joanie went to the kitchen to help her husband prepare dinner.