She tied it to her wrist, the white string looped around her freckled skin so it couldn’t get away. It trailed her everywhere, the lavender orb floating constantly in her purview. Sometimes it would swell until she thought it would swallow the room. Like when she talked about the coordinate plane, how it was split into quadrants just like the city. She tried those analogies, the words skipping off her tongue before she realized it didn’t work here. Wheat colored eyelashes batted in her direction as hands infested the air, and she had to backtrack, find a different way to explain it.
The lavender shadow hovered over her like a sentry as she laid out unit plans, trying to discern the best flow from graphs to equations to tables. It tugged at her wrist, whispered things like Scavenger and Review Ball, and she’d smile fondly, lost in memories of exultant students, the coveted ting of ten points reverberating in the classroom.
As she tapped through submitted work to the whir of her laptop fan, she worried the sphere was deflating, the bridge between her now and then so distant it was just a dot on the horizon. In those moments she challenged herself to recall names, but often only chocolate hues of skin and hair would break through the fog.
There would be an untying, she knew that now. A time when she could untangle the string, now yellowed with time, and watch that purple circle bob through the wind as it wafted toward someone else’s wrist. Some beginner stepping into 308 for the first time, her foot sinking on the rotted wood at the back of the room.