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12th March 1994

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Adele Forrester really was ready to go home. She really did love all her small charges but by the end of a Friday afternoon, she really was just biding her time waiting for their parents to just come get them. She glanced over the classroom, the usual suspects whispering away, and the new girl Ivy, or Allie as she’d insisted on being called, was jotting away at her worksheet happily enough.

She’d not quite managed to get much of a handle on the little girl, who had only started at the school two days ago, so far, she seemed sweet and quiet, a little shy perhaps but that might just be nerves about settling in, she mused. She’d briefly met the girl’s mother, a tallish woman, worked in journalism who seemed nice enough, unlike some of the other parents.

She sighed slightly with relief as the clock hit half 3, and the bell rang out through the classroom the children all scrabbling to collect their things and wait at the door. Adele led the line of children through the corridors to the playground door and watched them as each child spotted their parent and ran off to meet them. She glanced down when she felt a small hand pulling at her sleeve, seeing Allie looking up at her expectantly,
“Miss Forrester, my mama is over there, can I go?”

She scanned the playground, not spotting the parent in question, before turning back to the little one.
“Sweetie, I can’t see her, and I can’t just let you go off on your own.” Allie just wrinkled her face and pointed at an unfamiliar woman who was waiting in the playground.

“That’s my mama there, my Mam is at work so Mama is picking me up.” This was all said in a very matter of fact way, as if it was all supposed to make complete sense, and it did take a moment for Adele to understand, much to her internal dismay.

The woman started to make her way over. She was a little shorter than the other parent she had met, a slimmer build and more delicate features, a small smile playing across her face.
“Hi, I’m Dolly Posner, Donna-Allie’s mam was supposed to tell you that someone else would be picking her up but I’m going to assume she forgot.” Her tone was a little wry. Allie slipped from her teacher’s side, attaching herself to the other woman’s hand.

“I’ll have to ring to confirm that it’s alright to hand her over to you,” Adele pushed her hair out of her face, this was a bit of a new situation to her and she wasn’t sure of the protocol, “Just to be sure.”

“That’s fine,” was the calm reply, “I’m a teacher myself, I completely understand.”

She led the way through to the main office, getting the necessary number from the secretary and dialled it, glancing back at the pair, the formerly quiet and shy child chattering away a mile a minute to the woman holding her hand.

The phone rang out for a few rings before someone picked up.

“Hello, Donna Scripps speaking, how can I help?”

“Hello, Ms Scripps this is Miss Forrester, I’m your daughter’s teacher,” Adele started, leaning slightly against the wall, “I just wanted to confirm that a Ms Posner is permitted to pick up Ivy?”

She heard a murmured swearword, before the reply came across the line.
“Yes, that’s fine, I apologise. I meant to inform you about that earlier on, In future, if she comes to collect Allie that’s completely okay to let her go with her.”

“That’s great, Apologies for disturbing you.”

Adele wrapped up the call and carefully put the phone back in the cradle before turning around to the pair.
“That’s fine, you’re cleared to take her.” She smiled, pushing her hair out of her face, and opening the front door for them, “Have a lovely weekend.”

She watched the pair for a moment intrigued by the change in the small child, but quickly put it out of her mind. There was marking and a large glass of wine waiting for her.