The Gunman

It was my first day teaching the pathway program at my school. I'd worked hard in the general ESL program as a rookie, and I'd been promoted to the big leagues. I was feeling good. Teaching pathways meant a new office, a different boss and added responsibility. Students had to pass my course in order…

The Office

“Yo, MC Rydes! How you been?!” Read the familiar and yet novel text in my inbox. I almost laughed out loud as I read it. It could only be from one person on earth. Javier Alonso, my old buddy from elementary and then high school. “Javi!!!” I responded, a big smile on my face. “I’ve…

The Grey Tabby

The first cats I ever met lived underneath the massive pine tree in our backyard. Two tuxedo cats. My brother and I would go out and try to play with them when they'd wander into our plastic play house. My mother cautioned us never to touch them because they might be diseased. The next cat…

The Move

It's hard to see them coming sometimes - fundamental changes that irrevocably alter the whole makeup of your life. It feels like day in and day out, nothing really changes. The days feel long and monotonous. Same couch, same pandemic, same life. But these small, seemingly inconsequential, things happen every so often. You sell your…

The Alternative

Paul and I were driving south down California's glorious coast in our rented yellow Camaro. We were on our way back to Redondo Beach from a night camping in Big Sur. I was exhausted. The night had been freezing, with a hazy mist that I hadn't expected in sunny California. We didn't bring an inflatable…

The Villages

When I walked to the local hardware store to pick up a replacement piece for my ceiling fan, I hadn't expected them to be open. I'd expected a routine curbside pickup. Once I arrived, I remembered that these stores were deemed essential businesses, and that I would actually have to enter the store to get…

The Cheats

I sat at the back of the class entranced in my work. I was halfway through writing Eminem's second verse in Renegade diagonally across the plastic cover of my red history binder. I blew the glittery black gel lightly to dry the words before starting the next line. "Do you always write with your face…

The Celebrity

"Set up tables 31-35 in the dining room for a party of 14," James, the general manager at The Tap, said to another hostess. She disappeared into the dining room to arrange the tables. I frowned. We didn't typically take reservations on Saturday nights, even if it was 9:30pm. James explained, "it's for Mario Lopez."…

The Lunch Program

"You ate all your food today," my mom announced as she emptied out my lunch bag, soaking the empty Tupperware containers in the sink. She sounded impressed. "No, I didn't," I shook my head. I sat at the kitchen table behind her colouring in my homework. "I gave my apple and my fruit roll-up to…

The Internship

"That's the girl," I whispered to Ant, using my chin to point at an event tent across the harbourfront. "And that guy behind her is the manager, the one who interviewed me." "Really? I didn't picture him to look like that at all." "I told you, he's all tall and spindly. Kind of looks like…