She couldn’t wait
Mary had been working as a teacher’s assistant since her graduation. She had never liked her job, but this wasn’t a problem. She had power there: power to shout at the students, power to say what she wanted from them, power to decide if they could go to the restroom or not when they asked for that. That day, however, she knew that it would be her day of glory. The little note she had received the day before was the best thing it ever happened in her career: “Ms. Redding has drugs in her backpack. She’s selling drugs to her classmates. Pay attention to her tomorrow and you will see her strange behavior. Just you, dear Mary, can do the right thing in this case”.
It was paradise. She couldn’t sleep in excitement, so she was the first one to arrive at the school. Ms. Redding arrived a few minutes later and Mary saw the child. “How could one say that she had drugs in that pink backpack? She knew how to pretend”, thought Mary. However, she didn’t have enough time to think – she had to act. In two or three steps she reached Ms. Redding, also called Anne.
“Open your bag now!” – she ordered. All the students turned to see what was happening.
“Excuse me… What? Why do you want to see my bag? I don’t have anything in it.” – Anne was shaking. Could Mary have discovered her note to Paul? She spent all the previous afternoon writing her love letter, how had Mary discovered that?
“Open it, now! Give it to me!” – And Mary pulled the bag and threw it to the floor.
Everyone was looking at Mary while Anne was running to get into the classroom, imagining Mary reading her love letter and all the students laughing because her love was not corresponded. But she wasn’t fast enough. Mary didn’t find anything in Anne’s bag – after all she was not looking for letters – and ran faster towards Anne. In front of everyone, she ordered: “take off your clothes!” Nobody could understand why, not even Anne. Some students tried to call the director, but she hadn’t arrived yet. “What is she trying to do? A strip search? In front of everybody?” – whispered a student.
In less than a minute Anne was naked and Mary was kneeling on the floor looking for the drugs in Anne’s clothes. She was acting fast and with insanity, like someone looking for a piece of gold in the trash. She didn’t find the drugs, but she was sure: the drugs were somewhere and she had done her job. She threw the clothes far and carried Anne pulling her by the arms to the director’s office. Like a dog showing a dead cockroach in its mouth, she was going to show her job when the director arrived.
Mary remembered that day as if it was yesterday, even though it had happened a year before. She also remembered clearly when she received the justice note. It was like the best gift ever: she was so important that maybe her picture would be on the first pages. Anne’s mother had sued Mary, charging her for violating her daughter’s rights. It had been right after the event, but the lawsuit was slow. She waited ten months for this moment.
The court was filled up. Everyone was looking at her. But she had the best trump: everyone could say that she had acted inconstitutionally, but she was going to recognize her liability. “Is anyone expecting that?”, thought Mary. She was going to surprise everyone, they would applause her strategy. After all, this wasn’t the problem. She could accept anything, as long as they showed she was the best for that job – and, really, it didn’t matter if the job was good or bad. She would be the best and that would be all. She was expecting the sentence that would put her on the news.
Then, the judge asked for silence. He was going to rule the decision. She couldn’t wait for that moment and she didn’t. With all her strength, she ran fast towards the window and threw herself from the third floor. But she had time to look behind before her last act: “Do I look good for the pictures?”