Penelope swallowed nervously staring at the large brick building before her. She wanted to teach so badly, but would they like her? Would they want a young women with a pig snout to be teaching their children or would they be too worried about her frightening them? "Only one way to find out." She murmured trying to steel herself for what was coming.
Determinedly, she mounted the steps in front of the school, her shoes making a faint clopping sound. A tremor ran through her hand as she gripped the cool metal handle of the door. Squeezing her eyes shut, somehow feeling more able for it, she pulled the heavy door and stepped inside the school.
She looked around, smiling to see all the pictures and other projects the students had done hanging about on the walls. It was everything she had dreamed a public school would be, back when she was a little girl with her mom taking care of all her schooling. Already she liked this place. She hoped they liked her.
Echoes filled the surprisingly empty hallway as she began walking down. She wasn't entirely sure where the principal's office was but she wished someone were around to ask. Everybody must be in class right now. She thought with faint disappointment, but also relief. Maybe it would be best to be interviewed before she saw how the children would react to her strange nose.
Eventually she found her way to some sort of office. Nervously she peeked her head in. A woman, busy with a phone call, barely glanced at her, but gestured to the row of seats lined up against the wall. Penelope nodded, keeping quiet so as not to disturb the call and sat down nervously.
After a few minutes of busy chatter the woman finally hung up. "Yes?" She called from behind her desk.
Penelope sprang to her feet, perhaps too eagerly and went to the desk. "I'm here for an interview; my name is -"
She was cut off by a quick way of the woman's hand. She was almost glaring at Penelope's nose. "No need to say. I'm well aware of who you are, little-miss-nose."
Penelope winced, she wasn't used to people being quite so rude about her cursed features.
"The principal's office is in the back there." The woman gestured at a door Penelope hadn't noticed behind the desk. "She's expecting you."
"Right," Penelope hesitated a moment, "should I go back now then?"
The woman actually glared now, this time meeting Penelope's gaze. "I said she's expecting you didn't I? Were you raised in a cave or something?"
Penelope was taken aback. She'd never been treated so rudely before. She was completely unsure of what would be the best way to react. She stared for a moment, before not saying anything and just scurrying behind the desk and towards the door. She hoped that the principal was more kind. No more how lovely the children's projects looked, she knew she wouldn't want to work at such a place if the principal were so cruel.
Timidly she knocked on the door.
"Come in!" An airy feminine voice called.
Taking a deep breath Penelope stepped into the principal's office.
"I'm going to be a teacher!" Penelope announced excitedly into the phone.
"Hey that's awesome, I knew you could do it!" Annie praised. "I told you you had nothing to worry about. People love you Penelope."
"Everybody that grouchy secretary." Penelope muttered. She still hadn't quite gotten over how rudely that woman had treated her.
"Secretaries are terrible people," Annie sympathized, though Penelope doubted whether the statement really had much truth for Annie. She hardly ever delivered packages anywhere with a secretary that she'd have to work with. "So what happened in the interview? Did they love you instantly?"
"Not exactly." Penelope answered, thinking back on what had happened once she'd finally gotten to the principal's office. "She was quite hesitant really, said she was only really interviewing me because there were so few candidates. She was quite concerned about my nose. She said that kids have a tendency to be nasty about differences in people. Especially at the age that has the opening for me to teach."
"Nah," Annie interjected. "Kids are just brutally honest which comes off as rude and mean sometimes."
Penelope rolled her eyes and continued as if Annie hadn't said anything. "But of course I expected that kind of resistance. I was really nervous, of course, but I found a way to explain to her, that I thought the kids being mean about my nose might actually be a good thing."
"Oh really how's that?" Annie asked, sounding a little distracted now. She had probably started doing something while on the phone, like making dinner, Annie was notorious for not being able to sit still for long.
"I told her that my nose could actually help the kids to be more accepting the differences in people whether physically or otherwise. She practically gave me the job on the spot after that, she realized that it was a good thing to try and teach kids."
"You rock Penelope! You want to go to Cloverdilly to celebrate?"
Penelope grinned into the phone, sensing perhaps that Annie might have some other motives in that. "Sounds great. When should we meet up?"
"Say half an hour?" Annie asked breezily.
"Sounds perfect, see you then."