His very own goddess

“Today we celebrate the bravery of Mrs. Selena Thomas. She showed courage and used her agile mind to get out of a situation that could have harmed many and managed to save her students in time.”

The crowd clapped enthusiastically. Selena stood in the shadows, feeling odd. Yes, she had tried to save her students and herself from a madman and yes, it had been her luck that she managed to get an idea to do so but frankly, all this seemed too much to her. She hadn’t really done anything that any other teacher wouldn’t have tried. Still, the deafening cheers and clapping and hooray did make her smile.

Her eyes strayed to Justin, he smiled at her and took her hand. She gripped it tightly, it had been frightful few days. Ever since that unfortunate day, Justin hadn’t really let her out of his sight. Even if he was damn proud of her, he was also scared for her. He hadn’t really thought something like this would happen to his wife. She was just a kindergarten teacher, she taught little kids, for heaven’s sake. They lived in a secure community, their crime rates weren’t even average but he supposed if something had to happen, it would happen.

*********************************************************************************************

He could still remember the day as clear as if it had just happened. He had been at work, bored out of his mind. Being an accountant paid well but sometimes the work was rather monotonous. In fact, he had been about to ask his friend Harry if he was up for coffee when his boss had come to him and asked to talk to him in private. Now, Justin was an ok sort of employee and he almost never made any errors if he could help it but he was human, he wondered if he had made some really big goof-up and managed to anger some of the clients. What he heard made his head swim.

There had been shooting at the school, his wife had been inside at the time and so were her students. He stumbled into a chair and his boss had asked him if he needed some water, his eyes sympathetic. Justin had stared unseeingly for long moments before he asked the one question he was dreading to ask.

“Is she…are they? I mean.” He licked his lips, they felt dry, his eyes were dry too. He wondered if he should be crying. He wondered if his parents knew about it yet, if Selena’s parents knew about it yet. An almost sob burst forth and he gasped. His boss held his hand tightly, bringing him back to the present. After some time, he realised Harry was there too. Looking at him with huge eyes. In fact, almost all of his coworkers were looking at him and he couldn’t stand it, he simply couldn’t. He got away from them all, almost running away and Harry caught up with him.

“Listen, I know…I mean, of course, I don’t know what you are feeling right now but there’s been no news that says that Selena…nothing bad has happened yet, ok? Keep calm, we can go to the school, the cops are already there, ok? We can ask them.” Harry babbled as he ran with Justin towards the exit.

Justin took out his car keys and was surprised to see his hands trembling. Before he could find the right key, Harry snatched them from him. Shaking his head, he motioned for Justin to go around and get into the passenger seat. Justin followed Harry’s orders mutely. He didn’t have anything to say, he didn’t know what to say. They drove in silence and Harry didn’t say a word, nor did he turn on the radio like he usually did. Justin still didn’t say anything when they finally reached the school and the noise woke him up. He looked around and saw police vans and there seemed to a lot of people. Harry cursed under his breath as he parked the car and muttered to Justin to stay in the car. Justin didn’t listen, he jumped out of the car and asked the first officer he saw.

“Is there any news? My…my wife is in there! I…what happened? What the fuck happened?” His voice rose as life came back to him, as all the fear and uncertainty reached its peak.

The officer looked at him with sympathy and directed him towards a guy who seemed to be directing a lot of cops. The officer turned towards Justin and he smiled. Justin didn’t know what he was smiling for, there were kids in there, his wife was in there. Some sick bastard was in there, threatening children. Children! He raised his arm to hit the other man when Harry gripped his arm and brought it down forcefully.

Finally, the officer spoke.

“Everything is secured. Nobody is hurt, you can calm down now, sir. Some teacher used her brains and somehow got the children out of the harm’s way. The man who attacked has been arrested and taken to the police station. What’s your wife’s name? Maybe I can help you with getting you there.”

Justin breathed harshly, even as he had listened he had started feeling light-headed again. Only Harry’s grip on him saved him, he literally couldn’t open his mouth to speak so Harry did it for him. The officer’s eyes widened and he rushed them towards the school. Justin didn’t know what he was feeling. An odd sort of euphoria was spreading through him and he was afraid that he would start laughing like a maniac soon enough. She was alright, everybody was alright. Some woman had been clever enough to save them all. He thought absently as he ran inside the building that he would have to thank the woman whoever she was.

Then he saw her, surrounded by her students. Her children, really. He didn’t stop running till he reached her and then, standing in front of her, he just looked at her. Drank in her bedraggled clothes and her long hair mussed, her face tired. She looked at him with tears in her eyes, her mouth trembled and he inched towards her. He almost hugged her but now that she was in his sight, he wasn’t sure if it was ok. She had just gone through some harrowing experience, was she ok with hugging him? Did she need space?

She solved his problem by jumping into his arms and breathed harshly as his arms went around her. He grabbed her closer, as close as he could without hurting her. She didn’t cry, she just breathed harshly for long moments, finally, he felt the tears through his shirt. Gripping her tighter, he looked about. The children were looking at them with large eyes, their faces pale and some were trembled ever as they stood. Slowly the parents were let in and they all looked over their children but Justin didn’t notice any of that. He only noticed that Selena was breathing and she was in his arms and she wasn’t hurt.

*****************************************************************************************

Now, he gripped her hand and let her shine in the spotlight. She was the best, his Selena. His light and of course she was being celebrated, she was one of the bravest people he knew and she deserved every word of praise showered on her. Whether she liked it or not. He just basked in the knowledge that the day hadn’t ended in tragedy like so many others. That the town had started to take precautions. It could have ended horribly but it hadn’t and for that, Justin will forever be grateful. He grinned fiercely when Selena accepted the medal on the stage and clapped along with everyone in the school auditorium.

 

 

via Daily Prompt: Agile

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