Professor Lee (short)

Three minutes after two, Professor Lee walked into his classroom, his glasses slightly askew, a frazzled look about him. Most of his students stared blankly from their seats, sporting typically bright hair and dismally dark clothing. The familiar scent of superiority and boredom clogged the air, but Professor Lee did not notice as usual.
He glanced down at the letter folded on his desk and tugged anxiously again at the bottom of his shirt.
His shirts were always just a little too short and his jeans fell just a little too low below the hem of his colorful plaid button up every day. He was not really the type of person to raise his arms above his head often, otherwise he would be in constant danger of showing off his too-short white t-shirt and stomach below.
Tearing his eyes from the letter, he adjusted his glasses and turned around. He could not believe the mess he had made of things. He felt himself begin speaking to the room, starting his lesson on color theory while his mind continued to race about what horror must await him now.
Writing on the chalkboard, paying little attention to his own lesson, he realized he had erased and redrawn the same letter “y” four times now. The chalk simply did not want to live in a level and straight-lined world today.

His mind kept skipping back to the words printed on his desk. The little letters that spelled the end of his now. His lovely, simple present. About to be ruined by a promotion he did not want and a raise he did not need – a change of routine he would surely detest.

Professor Lee passed through the rest of the lesson in a phase. His eclectic students filing out of the room, he at last went around to the too-short swivel chair crammed under the desk. He sat down weightily. He unfolded the letter and his eyes practically peeled the marks off the page with the intensity of his reading. Again and again.

He tapped his foot rapidly. He scratched his sweaty forehead. He folded and unfolded the letter over and over.
At last, after what felt like hours contemplating the comfort of his present and the tumultuous unknown of the future the letter spelled out… He picked it up off the table in a flash and tore the letter, scared that if it he did not do it quick enough, his resolve would fail. He tossed the pieces in the can and let out a breath.

He was, again, back to the comfortable knowing of the now.

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