“Sorry I’m late, ladies and gentlemen,” Nelson said. “Had some last minute business to wrap up at the parent-teacher conference. I presume everyone is excited about the match?”
Mrs. Warren’s ever present frown hardened.
“I know, I know,” Nelson said with an open smile. “But with all due respect, ma’am, I thought it would be a good idea for the academy to branch out and find new talent. You never know what’s out there.”
“Yes, yes, yes, but why him, Nelson?” Mrs. Warren’s voice whined and she shook her head with displeasure. “Why this…Slater Lee? He’s from the slums. He’s got no parents. No home training.”
“His file does show several suspensions, Nelson,” Mr. James said plainly. “One more and he’ll be expelled from East Central.”
“All the more reason to see if he’s got talent,” Nelson said. “If he does, then we’ll be able to give him a scholarship and a new opportunity to do something positive with his life. We can open his mind like no other educational institution in the world. Isn’t that the goal of this academy?”
Ms. Dawes turned to Nelson. “Why are we teaming him with Elena? From a compatibility standpoint, they don’t seem to match up well. That’ll put the boy at a disadvantage. Especially against Daniel Wellington. Furthermore, Elena’s academic record can’t withstand another loss to Daniel. You know this. Yet, you’re still willing to jeopardize her career? For what, Nelson?”
“She makes a valid point, Nelson,” Mr. Taylor said. “Besides, that poor girl has enough on her mind as it is.”
“I don’t exactly see it that way,” Nelson said. “If anything, this will give Elena the opportunity to redeem herself. She took that second loss to Daniel so hard and -“
Suddenly, Nelson felt a small buzz in his ear from his hands-free communication device. He touched a button and listened closely. Nelson nodded his head once, then addressed the board.
“You know, my mother use to say that we have the power to speak things into existence,” Nelson said.
“She’s here?” Warren asked.
“Yes, ma’am,” Nelson replied. Then he tapped the device on his ear again. “Show her in, please.”
Principal Nelson took a few steps passed them towards the large window and looked down to see two figures walking through the double doors of the gym. The board was silent, the mood in the observation room immediately sinking with an awkward mixture of pity and grief.
Walking through the doors was a young girl, her body completely covered up in a beige trench coat with a large, beige fedora hat over her head. The girl was pushing a blue and red stroller. Inside it, tightly secured under a thin blanket, was a baby boy.
“I can’t believe she brought him here,” Mr. James said.
Nelson turned to him, a hint of anger permeating his voice as he spoke. “Where else is she supposed to take him, James? Are you volunteering to babysit?”
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