Everly Jordan still can’t believe this is happening. This is definitely way out of her element, but she knows it’s something she needs. She needs to get away from the city and start her life over, with her career. Of course she hadn’t planned on moving out of the state as well. But here she is, in Macon, Oklahoma. Macon, Oklahoma… she’d never heard of it before looking for a job. She’s not even sure why she submitted her application. It didn’t take long for her to receive an interview. It started with a phone interview. And then they requested a video conference for another interview. Finally, they asked her to come down to officially become a teacher at Macon Elementary School.
That was also when she learned that Macon Elementary was attached to the Macon Middle and Macon High Schools. She’s not sure she’s ever seen a town as small as Macon. However, this could be exactly what she needs, especially after spending her first 25 years in Chicago.
Her family hadn’t been thrilled with the news that she’d not only be leaving Chicago but she was leaving Illinois. She still can’t figure out why they were upset. It’s not as if they’ve ever been really close. If they’d been close, they wouldn’t still question her about why her engagement ended.
When she had been offered the position in Macon, she hadn’t hesitated to accept. It’s her opportunity to do something for her.
Everly met Charlotte James the day she came in to look at her classroom. They’d become instant friends; which Everly is thankful for. It’s nice to have someone to go to in a new place. She’d met Charlotte’s best friend, though Everly thinks there’s more to it, her second day there. She’d asked Charlotte for some help in rearranging the desks and Taylor had come to lend a hand as well.
It’s really happening. She’s finally going to be doing what she wants to do. Her dream had always been to be a teacher. The dream is finally happening; she’s a third grade teacher. She just hopes that being in a new place won’t cause her issues, especially being in a small town. She’s heard about how small towns can be, but she’s never had to deal with anything first hand.
As she waits for the kids to come into her room for the first day of school, Everly goes over the class list once again. It really doesn’t surprise her by how few students she has. What does surprise her is the fact that there are three students with the same last name. She’d assume that they’re triplets if she hadn’t seen their birthdates. She also had to wonder if any of them belonged to Taylor.
Cousins, she learned that as soon as they walked in with Taylor, Dad to Lennon Hanson, and Uncle Tay to Gavin and Jordan Hanson. Jordan, no, he doesn’t want to be called Jordan. He goes by Luca, Luca Hanson.
Everly watches as the three Hanson boys are the last to rush out of the room at the end of the day, each yelling about getting outside first. She can’t help but smile at that. She remembers those days well with her brothers. That was the worst part about being the only girl.
The next morning, Everly is ready for the first full day of school. She’s walking down the hall to her classroom when she sees the door of the room across from her open. She looks over to see the man who’d step out and shoves the doorstop under the door. He looks vaguely familiar but knows that she hasn’t had the chance to meet him.
“You must be the new teacher,” he says looking over.
Everly pulls her keys from her bag. “That would be me,” she replies with a small smile.
“Welcome to Macon. I’m Zac Hanson.”
“Everly Jordan.” She looks at him. “It’s nice to meet you. Are you one of Taylor’s brothers?”
“That would be me. Don’t believe everything he says about me.”
She smiles. “Hasn’t said much. We’ve mostly talked school stuff.” She gestures at her door. “I should get things set up for the day.”
“Of course. I’m sure we’ll see each other around.”
Everly walks into her classroom and can’t help but smile. Everyone she has met has been really nice. She can’t ask for a better way to start her career down here. She just hopes it continues.
When the mid-morning recess rolls around, Everly knows that her students are ready. She follows the line out of the classroom, noticing the other students are doing the same. She forgot to check to see who else would be outside with the kids. She remembers them saying that there will always be four staff members for each recess and that they switch out. This morning is her time.
As she makes her way outside behind her class, she can see Zac standing to the side of the basketball court. She makes her way over. “Hi,” she says.
Zac looks over and smiles. “Hey,” he responds. “How’s the first full day going?”
“Not too bad so far. They were definitely ready for this though.”
“Not surprised. Not when you have three Hanson boys in there.”
Everly smiles. “They are characters.” She looks around the fenced in area where all the kids are.
“Did I hear that this is your first year teaching?”
“You heard correct. Obviously had my student teaching, but this is my first year.” She watches as Luca runs toward them. She looks at him as he stops in front of Zac. It’s then she notices the mark on his cheek.
“What happened?” Zac asks. He takes Luca’s chin in his hand and turns to look at the mark.
“One of the swings hit me,” Luca answers.
“I’d say.” Zac squats down in front of him. “Can you make it inside to get an icepack?”
“Go on. Come right back out.”
Everly looks at Zac when he stands up again. “That’s why you looked familiar this morning. You’re Luca’s Dad.”
Zac smirks. “I am.”
“He’s your mini-me.”
“In more ways than one. Don’t be surprised when you see him attempting to climb the swing set.”
“He’s tried before?”
“On a number of occasions.” He gestures toward Lennon and Gavin. “They’ll be right there with him. When I was their age, I had my older brothers.”
Everly laughs. “I never had the chance to do things like that with my brothers. Maybe we’ll have to start now.”
“There ya go.” Zac looks over when he sees Luca walk back out. “You all right?”
“Yeah,” Luca calls back as he sits down against the building.
“Can I ask how many kids you have?” Everly asks.
“I have three. Luca’s the oldest. Scarlett is six and in first grade. She’s running around here somewhere. And then Colt is two.” Zac looks at his watch. “And that’s morning recess. You got lucky, Miss Jordan. Easy day.” He smiles. “Cover your ears.”
“Cover my…?” She quickly puts her hand over her ears when Zac lets out a loud whistle. “Wow.”
“Sorry.” He grins. “I sorta warned you.”
“I guess so.” They follow the students inside.
Everly walks into the teacher’s lounge at lunch time, smiling when she sees Charlotte and Taylor sitting at one of the tables. She grabs her lunch from the fridge before joining them. “Hey,” she says.
“Hey,” Taylor says with a smile. “How’s your first full day going?”
“So far so good. I had recess duty this morning.” She looks over when someone plops down in the seat beside her to find Zac now sitting there.
“I’m giving the kids until Thursday to start their attempt to make it to the top of the swing set,” Zac says.
“Were they trying today?” Charlotte asks.
“Not that I saw. Luca did get clocked by one of the swings though.” He looks at Everly. “How’s he doing?”
“He’s okay. I stopped him before they went down for lunch to check on him. He said it hurts, but he’s okay.”
Zac nods. “Okay.”
“So Everly,” Taylor says as he looks at her. “I don’t know if you have any plans this weekend. But Saturday we’re having a get together at my parents’ house. It’s something we do every year after the first week of school. You’re more than welcome to come.”
Everly smiles at him. “Anything I can bring?”
“I’ll get back to you on that. Just let me know if there’s anything you can’t have.”
“Gluten.” She wrinkles her nose a little. “I can’t have gluten.”
“Okay, no gluten. We usually cook out and have a bonfire.”
“Sounds great.” This is the first time that she’s told someone that she couldn’t have gluten that didn’t try to tell her that it’s not as bad for you as people say. Little do most people know, for her it is.
Before long lunch break is over. They say their goodbyes and go their separate ways. Zac and Everly walk together to their hall. Once they reach their room, they give each other a wave before walking into their rooms.