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Professor Mary Brooding
I promise.
Sun Sep 2, 2018 02:27

Mary smiled at first, enjoying Mr. Montoir's explanation of his grandfather and sorting Chinese texts. Then she beamed.

"When I was younger, I really wished I was more patient. I decided I would work on it, but I had no idea how hard that would be," she said, speaking slowly and hoping desperately not to bore this poor kid. He seemed the kind to respond better to a rapport-based story than to empty words, but she wasn't sure. "The thing about becoming more patient is that you don't just get to be more patient. You have to go through situations that test your patience. I think that you don't get to be a good problem solver until you've experienced problems, or clever until you've had to think hard to figure something out."

She looked up from her work and considered Mr. Montoir for a moment. "You don't learn to be loving until you meet people that are hard to love, either because they don't seem very lovable, or because they don't seem like the people you are supposed to love. The hardest thing is to remember to love yourself regardless of your impatience, your problems, or your heart."

Mary's own heart seemed to gasp for relief and her eyes stung as she said this. She knew all the words were true and she knew that accepting them would be one of the hardest things for this young man ever to do. She hadn't yet managed it herself if she was honest. Again, the thought of Tabitha walking away from her played through her mind and her voice caught in her throat for a moment. She threw her thoughts into the moment at hand and considered another realization.

There was an odd line in having such a serious conversation with someone who did not have native fluency in the conversation's language. Culturally and emotionally, such general language worked well, and Mr. Montoir was certainly proficient in English. Still, Mary worried that she would either miss the point or overwhelm him if she didn't make it explicit, too.

"You possess great strength of character, Mr. Montoir," she said softly. "And I suspect that comes with great depth of feeling."

  • I hope you're rightDorian, Sun Sep 2 01:54
    Professor Brooding appeared not to want to help with the books, which was fine. He could sort and she could work, and then he wasn’t in anyone’s way, but nor was he having to be out and socialising,... more
    • I promise. — Professor Mary Brooding, Sun Sep 2 02:27
      • You read my mindDorian, Tue Sep 4 06:33
        Dorian had to listen hard to Professor Brooding’s answer. She went off on quite the tangent. He didn’t mind that as such, although she was one of those people where you had to wait until the very end ... more
        • Sorry about that.Professor Mary Brooding, Tue Sep 4 17:22
          Mary was surprised when Mr. Montoir seemed to recoil some, and even more so at the fact that she found this so surprising. She'd been a student once; how creepy would she have thought it if her... more
          • It was probably my faultDorian, Wed Sep 5 04:06
            Silence reigned. Dorian tried to focus back on the bookshelves. But it didn't feel like comfortable silence any more. It didn't feel like they were two people working companionably in the same space. ... more
            • Certainly notProfessor Brooding, Wed Sep 5 17:48
              Guilt and sympathy washed over Mary in equal measure and she felt herself relax into the situation. Realizing she and Mr. Montoir were equally human was encouraging and she smiled warmly at him. "Not ... more
              • Professor Brooding was a strange kind of grown up. Most grown ups set lots of rules. And, even when they didn't, they still wanted you to be a certain way. He was thirteen - people didn't usually... more
                • Good. Not knowing means you have a place to start.Professor Mary Brooding, Wed Sep 5 22:34
                  Mary smiled, glad to see Mr. Montoir making a choice and asserting himself, even if it was done so passively. This was a boy who had been through a lot, that much was clear, and she couldn't help... more
                  • It doesn't just mean you are lost?Dorian, Thu Sep 6 01:59
                    It was strange, seeing lessons from this side, when they were not quite lessons yet. It was also curious and alarming and surprising to hear Professor Brooding say she did not have a plan for... more
                    • I hope not, for both of us!Professor Mary Brooding, Thu Sep 6 02:18
                      Mary laughed, surprised by Mr. Montoir's sudden change of tone. He almost seemed at ease, and certainly a little curious about her work. His blush reminded her yet again how young he was and she... more
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