The school year is always an exciting time for Nikki Andrews. Beginning a new year with new students and new opportunities for a great year is what she always looks forward to. Having been at Brior High School for almost 8 years now, Nikki knew she wanted to be a teacher. She loves the atmosphere of the kids and all the teachers and of course, who doesn't like summers off? She loves being the art teacher as she feels it's so rewarding to her. She has been offered better job opportunities but she feels her kids she teaches are the reason why she loves it.
Being an alumni at Brior High School has its perks. With her being a teacher she also claims the title of the girls Varsity softball coach. She's faithfully active in sports and boosters as her husband is also involved in the school athletics, the Varsity football coach. Her husband Craig Andrews has been in her life as long as she can remember. Even though people are supposed to be in the school system somewhere, Craig is not. He is a bank manager at one of the largest banks in the city. He has his connections with the school board. Nikki and Craig were high school sweethearts and married over the summer before the school year 4 years ago. Being in a small town, Nikki and Craig grew up with everybody and practically knows everyone.
It's the start of the second semester as the softball and baseball seasons are fast approaching. There has been talk of a new science teacher coming in for the new semester as Mr. Turner retired at the end of the first semester. Nikki has heard about the new teacher as she actually hasn't talked to him yet. They have seen each other a few times, exchanging smiles here and there.
Sitting in her classroom eating some chicken salad and crackers as she is already working on tomorrows lesson plan she is in full concentration mode. After making sure she has everything written down and putting away the empty container she gets up and starts to clean up her room a little. She moves things around, getting supplies cleaned and ready for the next class that starts in 30 minutes. Her first practice of the season is tonight as she is really excited, thinking about the drills and activities she's going to have the girls do. Being an art teacher sure does have it's perks, one being the dress code. She doesn't necessarily need to dress up but she also has to be presentable. Wearing her jeans, a beige cardigan and a purple v-neck underneath, she rolls her sleeves up to finish cleaning. She adjusts her glasses and sticks her pencil behind her ear as she glances over to her classroom door noticing the new teacher walking with a couple kids and talking.
He's joking around with them a little, smiling as she overhears them. All Nikki knows about the new teacher is that he was also named the Varsity baseball coach. The baseball team has been a little bit of a joke the past couple of years as they haven't been able to get anything going. It also has not helped that the previous coach wasn't really good and wasn't really keen on teaching the boys. Nikki's husband Craig is a different story as he is a big deal because he has had so much success and prestige the past 4 years. Sometimes Nikki can't handle the cockiness, cockiness comes with the position of making it to the playoffs every year, winning state 3 out of 4 times they have gone. Nikki gets back to work getting stuff ready, singing along to the radio in her own little world.
Anthony finishes up talking to the boys telling them to get to class and that he will see them after school. He hears the radio coming from the art room as he walks over and leans against the door frame of the doorway smiling as she sings and dances around. After watching her for a little bit, laughing from time to time, he clears his throat a little.
"Yeah? Can I help you?" Nikki turns around, seeing the man standing in her doorway. She turns down the radio, holding a few paint brushes and a bottle of blue paint.
"No, it's okay you can leave it," Anthony says referring to the radio. "I just wanted to come and introduce myself. I don't think we've ever actually met, my name is Anthony, Anthony Thompson but you can call me Tony or Anthony, I'm the new science teacher."
Turning the radio off and placing the brushes and paint in the sink, Nikki walks over and sticks her hand out of him to shake, paint all over her hand. "I'm Nikki Andrews you can call me Nikki," smiling. "Welcome."
"Thank you, it's very nice to meet you," he smiles shaking her hand.
"Nice to meet you too. How are you getting along?" Nikki asks.
"Pretty good so far. I've gotten pretty acclimated," stepping into her room.
"Good to hear. The kids like you?" Nikki asks, sliding her wedding ring back on her finger since she takes it off when she deals with paint.
"Seems like it they're always at my door," Anthony says smiling, already knowing that she is married.
"Well, that's really good. I know some teachers don't have that much luck."
"We can't all be so fortunate I suppose," Anthony says laughing a little. He stands there watching her as she is organizing her desk and throwing away some trash. "So I hear you coach the girls softball team?"
"Yes I do."
"Well, I will probably start seeing more then. I'm coaching the baseball team this year.'
"Yeah, I read it in the paper and heard it from a couple teachers," she smiles, "So you know about the history of the team?"
"Well, the guys were telling me about how they get ragged a lot."
"Yeah, a lot of the football guys pick on them."
"Yeah that's what I hear, but we'll sow them this year," Anthony says, confidence breaking through him.
"Good. The baseball team needs a good year."
"Yeah they do," Anthony smiles, the bell in the hallway rings, "Alright well you have a good one, I'll probably see you later."
"Yeah, you too," Nikki chimes as kids are already filling into her room.
"Same to you," heading out to his classroom.
After school and after locking her classroom door, Nikki heads to the locker room to get ready for practice. Changing into some running shorts and the vneck she wore earlier. She gets the equipment out of the closet and heads to the field seeing a couple guys on the baseball field warming up, seeing Anthony in the dugout. Nikki grabs her mitt and starts to play catch with her pitcher, getting her arm warmed up. Anthony walks over to the softball field after sending the boys off to go run laps. He places his arms on the fence and watches.
Nikki sees him and smiles, "Hey," tossing the ball back to her pitcher. "Go warm up with Isabel," taking the mitt off and walking over to Anthony, "how are you?"
"I'm doing pretty good, how about yourself?"
"Good, first practice for you?"
"Well good luck coach," she smiles.
"Thanks, same to you," Anthony walks back to the baseball field and begins his practice. Nikki walks back and begins her practice as well, doing some drills and conditioning exercises to get them ready. Nikki pushes them as she knows they are full of potential. Towards the end of practice, they start doing some hitting, giving the pitcher a chance to practice. She sees them looking over at the baseball field from time to time not saying anything at first.
"Coach?" Nikki hears some of the girls say.
"What? Keep going, keep hitting, we have to be ready for our game on Friday," she catches a couple of them looking over at the baseball field, Anthony running plays with the guys. "Girls do we have to go practice inside?"
A couple of them giggle," No." Another girl looks over at Nikki, "Can't help if he's so cute."
"Yes, he attractive ladies but we have a game to practice for. Please focus or I will be forced to take us inside."
"Okay fine," they all sigh.