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The Boy In The Tie

The Boy In The Tie

A Story by Kathryn Smith

It's not too late.

I See The Hope In Your Heart.

When the happy hands of my favorite little humans wave excitedly at me through their bus window, my heart is filled.

I stand outside in the spring air and watch them leave after their day is finished.

Next I head downstairs to eat lunch with the first and second graders.

One of my favorite parts of the day.

Usually the lunch room rings with laughter, smiles, and innocence.

And today, they all chattered about what they got for Easter.

I noticed a buddy of mine sit down, handsome in a dress shirt and tie. I wondered why he was so dressed up.

As I studied him, something wasn't quite right.

He looked absolutely broken.

I sat across from him and gently asked what was wrong.

Shrugging, he took off his tie and placed it next to his lunch tray.

He wouldn't tell me.

As lunch went by, his classmates began to tell me that someone died.

Suddenly it hit me.

I looked into the tired blue eyes across from me, and before I knew it, my handsome friend broke down with grape sized tears streaming down his cheeks.

He informed me his grandpa died on Saturday. He had a heart attack.

We both got up from our seats and he collapsed into my arms, burying is face in my chest.

With my hand cradling the back of his head, I shielded his face

For a long time we stood together in an embrace.

He was inconsolable.  

The room grew quiet as his cries grew louder. 

All the students began to stare.

They sounded like robots as their voices echoed whispering.

His Grandpa died. His Grandpa Died.

He had a heart attack.

Hearing their comments didn't help the poor boy.

The volunteer to do lunch duty kept trying to hush the students and told them not to stare and to keep eating.

After a while I wiped tears away  and sat next to him for the rest of lunch.

I looked into his eyes and told him that I too had a friend die once, and that we have a very important job; to keep their memory alive. To remember all the good things.

It seemed to make him feel better, but I was at a loss for words. My heart was broken to see such a small child so deeply devastated.

I changed the subject and told the children that if they looked closely outside at recess, they would find footprints.

Earlier that morning I traced many feet of my own students with chalk.

Their eyes grew wide with excitement, asking if I too could trace their feet.

Before I could answer, the bell rang and they all took off to go outside.

I finished my lunch.

Usually I would go home after, but today I walked to the playground.

No one was looking at the footprints, they all were happily playing on the equipment.

Just as I was about to turn around to walk to my car, out of the corner of my eye, The boy in the tie appeared.

He ran to me.

Can you trace my feet too? He eagerly said.

We got out some chalk and I traced his feet.

When I was finished he stepped back, and examined his feet on the pavement.

And for the first time in a long time, he smiled the happiest smile I had ever seen.

When working with children, I cant help but pause and marvel at their innocence. 

This will only last a few more years.

Knowing that life is filled with dark moments and burns, makes me want them to never grow up.

But the boy in the tie taught me something.

When there is darkness, creating light for someone else is one of the greatest, most fulfilling and powerful moments you will ever experience.

Even if it is small.

This would be a cute idea to do at our reception leading up to our private entrance:

For Sully.

© 2016 Kathryn Smith

Author's Note

Kathryn Smith

My Review

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Wow... very touching I love this ... I love children as well ... very touching thank you so much for putting this out there and lever thing with the feet.

Posted 1 Year Ago

I enjoyed the story and I agree with your logic.
"When there is darkness, creating light for someone else is one of the greatest, most fulfilling and powerful moments you will ever experience.
Even if it is small. "
Kids can teach us to be kinder and better people. Thank you Kathryn for sharing the excellent story.

Posted 2 Years Ago

Your last line took my heart away
Children are angels
If i had a stronger heart i would have worked in a school
But if a child cries i cry
its super fast
so i suck at it

I love your sentiment here
and every detail you explain

Posted 2 Years Ago

Beautiful read, and beautiful little snippet of life. By sharing this little tidbit you're spreading the light to whoever reads it. Thanks for making the world a better place.

Posted 2 Years Ago

Nice read Kathryn, you captured the moments. The only thing I might suggest is changing the "crocodile tears" reference as this term is used to describe fake/insincere crying... Apart from this, good structure and flow, I enjoyed it... if one can use this verb to describe reading about such a sad situation :(

Posted 2 Years Ago

well i can relate to this,i was in second grade when my first grandpa died,sad story

Posted 2 Years Ago

I really enjoyed this story of yours Kathryn. It was really well structured and I really liked the flow of the piece. Well done with this one :)

Posted 2 Years Ago

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7 Reviews
Added on March 30, 2016
Last Updated on April 1, 2016


Kathryn Smith
Kathryn Smith

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A Story by Kathryn Smith

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