“Thank you, Miss Kennard. I do appreciate the attention you’ve given to the children’s character development. But I doubt you’ll ever have a discipline problem with him,” Kit said.
“Well, I seldom have a discipline problem with the children,” Tina began now turning her full attention to Bette who sat silently and expectantly. “But I’ll admit there are times I wouldn’t mind taking a parent or two to the wood shed for a proper whipping.” She accentuated her southern drawl and smiled; it was a wicked smile.
Bette’s eyes grew large and round and she tried to swallow. She felt her body break into a cold sweat.
“Well, I can imagine some parents can be a handful,” Kit said and looked at her sister. “Anyway, this looks like a good plan. I don’t have any questions,” Kit said thankful the room was still intact after the obvious barb the teacher had just thrown at her sister.
She glanced over at Bette who sat frozen. Kit wasn’t even sure she was breathing. “How about you, Sis, any questions?” she asked.
“Um…no, I’m fine,” Bette said softly not taking her eyes from Tina. She could hardly speak because her heart was beating in her throat.
The three sat quietly. The ticking of the classroom clock measured out the awkward moment. Kit looked back and forth between her sister and the young teacher. She glanced down at Bette’s hands in her lap; she noticed her sister was trembling.
Kit cleared her throat. “Are the students’ art projects on display in the multipurpose room?” she asked.
Tina turned her attention to the mother. “Yes, yes they are. And there are refreshments there as well. Please help yourself, Kit.”
“We should get going, Sis. I’m sure Miss Kennard has another conference scheduled.”
“Oh, no, I don’t. You’re my last for this evening. I scheduled you last thinking you might like the extra time.” Tina smiled at Bette who had not taken her eyes from her.
“You want some cookies? Bette?” Kit shook her sister’s arm. “Cookies?”
“Go on. I’ll meet you in there,” Bette said not looking at her sister.
Kit looked at Tina who smiled back at her and shrugged her shoulders.
“Um, okay then. Remember you have the car keys; don’t forget me.” Kit shook her head and gathered her things, “Gonna burn a hole right through her with that look,” Kit mumbled under her breath as she reached the door.
“Pardon me?” Tina asked.
“Oh nothing, thank you, Miss Kennard. See you in a bit, Bette.” Kit allowed herself an eye-roll as she exited the classroom.
Tina played with the edge of the file on the table in front of her, but she kept eye contact with the brunette. She planned on keeping Bette off balance, so she changed the direction of the conversation just to keep her disoriented.