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Second Day of School

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Emily hurried down the sidewalk from where the school bus pulled up and looked over her shoulder.

“Come on, Will!” she huffed.

“Wait!” he called to his older sister. “Wait, I need- ugh EM WAIT!”

Emily stopped herself as they approached a group of her friends and turned around. She recognized the panic in his voice and she knew when he got overwhelmed she had to stop and help. He was only five.

Mom told her that she might be an expert at going to school but William got overwhelmed. He was a well-adjusted kid but the school thing was tough at first. It was tough for her too. That was Dad’s wording, not Mom’s.

Emily turned around and pushed her long strawberry blonde hair over her shoulder. “What’s up, Will?”

William kicked his foot out and his laces flopped on the cement of the sidewalk. “My dumb shoe lace.”

Emily turned toward her friends and called to them to go ahead. When she turned back she smiled at William and crouched down. Her grey skirt from her school uniform billowed around her legs and she tucked one saddle-shoe foot under her backside.

“I got it,” Emily said calmly.

She made two bunny ears and waggled them in her fingers. “See? Two bunny ears, cross them over and pull them tight.”

She narrated her actions as she tied up Williams laces and put a double knot in them for good measure. William looked down at her, his school shirt untucked on one side and his index finger stuck in his mouth. He did that as he watched their mom cook dinner or Emily brush her hair. They were fascinating women.

Emily stood up, tucked in his shirt for him and ruffled William’s chestnut hair. “You okay?”

“Second day of school,” he said flatly as though it was year end for his accounting firm and his underlings weren’t performing up to task.

“Yeah,” she agreed with the knowledge of that learning disguised as fun was ahead of him. He didn’t know that.

“Okay I’m ready,” he said and squeezed her hand.

They walked into Faith Under the Catholic Trinity Elementary School. Mulder only approved of because the acronym spelled FUCK. Scully rolled her eyes and told him it really didn’t but it was a win on the school issue so she didn’t care if he laughed about it.