I have mentioned, in posts from this and last week, how things have been not so good at my school. Last week, I had a dream one night that I went into work and my co-workers hadn't shown up. Things have been so tense and gloomy, and the center of the storm has been Elizabeth.
Yesterday, however, things were cheerful and happy, with kids showing up at the staffroom door with their rehearsed line: "Happy Birthday! This is for you!" with their little outstretched hands holding little presents. "Thank you! I love it!" I declared, opening my kitschy little gifts from the stationary store across the street. My boss came in with her son, and (YES!) an ice-cream cake from Baskin Robbins! Yay!
Those hunks of what looks like marble-cheese was actually white chocolate. The ice cream was cherry, chocolate, and toffee vanilla with candied almonds. Yummilicious. The next break we enjoyed some chicken that had been ordered. I was happy I hadn't eaten breakfast before going to school!
But Elizabeth had none of it. She pretty much said nothing all day, but when she had to speak she did so in this small, defeated voice. I've heard it before. In fact, I asked Karen to come and talk to me in private, to let her know that this has been going on for almost a week. She said Jane had mentioned she thought something was wrong last week. I told Karen it was like before. Like last February. I told her I was concerned. I told her I didn't know what was wrong, but knew I probably wasn't going to find out, even if I asked.
Today I came to work to learn Elizabeth quit this morning. Just like that. After over three years.
I called Karen to ask what happened, and was told - well, nothing - pretty much.
So I called Liz, who sounded drugged.
"I'm sick," she said, barely above a slurred whisper.
"What's wrong?" I asked.
"I'm so sleepy."
"What? Now, or in general?"
"Now. I don't want talk."
"Liz, I'm worried about you. Are you ok?"
"I thank you for your calling." *CLICK.
I called Karen back and urged her to contact Elizabeth's brother. Nothing's right about this behaviour. It's exactly like before, except this time there was a call to say she's not going to be in. Ever.
I can't go to her house, because she moved a few months ago and I've never been there. I have no idea where it is. No one knows. I called her tonight, and the phone rang and rang. No answer.