Kareem: A Short Story

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“Another man was slain today in Uptown after a violent night of protests. We here at WCTV…”

Chanda  turned the television off before heading to work. It had been a long week of civil unrest after a young man was gunned down by the police. She grabbed her phone to scroll mindlessly through her social feed, to try and relieve herself of the trauma she was witnessing. She wanted to protest too. She felt overcome because she felt that by protesting, her work contract could be compromised. It was so early to be fighting these emotions. Chanda’s silent protest was working with children each day. Making sure they learn and feel safe. She grabbed her keys,  lunch bag, and  laptop bag, and opened the door to the garage. She briefly left the car door open to run back in the house to grab a water bottle. 

Chanda came back to the car and saw a missed text message from her boss: 

“We will need to meet first thing this morning. I expect everyone to be there!”

“What does he want now?” Chanda thought to herself.

The morning drive isn’t bad. Chanda lives right around the corner from the school. She drives slowly in her 2011 Toyota Forerunner. She makes sure to watch her pace, since she passes school children walking to school. She turns into the parking lot and the weight of her world settles on her chest. She looks in mirror and recites her daily mantra:

“I am here to serve, my heart is open, I will learn and grow!”

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