'Ms Anderson' by Sonia Hope

Mr Breheny was dying for a cigarette. His restless, nicotine-stained fingers matched the pale ginger of his hair.
    Ms Anderson hadn’t phoned him.
    As Boogie Nights blared from the assembly hall speakers at last week’s School Staff Social, Mr Breheny had shuffled in the direction of Ms Anderson until they were dancing together. He was awed by the elegance of her cheesecloth dress and perfectly sculpted Afro. Afterwards, they drank warm beer out of plastic cups, chit-chatting, laughing, and Mr Breheny scribbled his phone number on a scrap of paper and pressed it into her hand. Eyebrows raised quizzically, she had thanked him and slipped it into her handbag.
    Since then, whenever Mr Breheny walked into the staff room his colleagues greeted him with silence.
    He didn’t care.
    He decided to postpone his cigarette break.
    Mr Breheny strode down the corridor to Ms Anderson’s classroom. Knocking softly, he opened the door.

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