The Prescot Chronicles Ch. 01: An Old Flame, A New Chance

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Prologue

John Prescott stood looking at the program for the conference. As a high school teacher for 15 years, he had attended his fair share of professional learning over the years but this was his first chance to attend a major academic conference out of town. It had taken plenty of convincing of his principal that giving John the 2 days off was a good move for their school, and it had been a minor miracle when he received funding approval from the school board’s professional development supervisor for both flights AND a hotel room. People would be surprised at how often teachers have to scrape these things together on their own, and even more surprised at how much they end up spending out of pocket for their students.

That was one of the reasons why John had not seriously considered attending any major conferences for years. At least until now. It had begun when he had been writing his thesis for his Master’s degree and following a strong push from his thesis advisor, gotten it published in a professional journal. A month later he received an email asking if he would be interested in presenting his research at a conference in Ottawa. The Canadian National Educational Improvement Council, or some such mouthful of an organization, thought he could offer insight for other educators.

John’s wife travelled frequently with her job, often leaving John on his own for long stretches. When home, she worked considerable amounts of overtime. What time they spent together was often enjoyable but lacked in the sexual energy that they had when they were younger. It was a good, comfortable life, but ultimately it left John frustrated. While he had never seriously considering acting on his frustrations, preferring to handle things himself, as it were, he did tend to reminisce about days gone by, and one girl whom he would always consider to be his great, first true love. Charlotte.

So, when the stars aligned to give him a chance to travel for the conference John jumped at the opportunity if only for a change to the every day. Thinking it would be interesting on a professional level, and enjoyable on a personal level. What John didn’t realize was just how life changing this conference was going to be.

Thursday

The flight up had been fine, running a few minutes behind schedule, which was pretty much par for the course these days. Unlike another teacher from his district who had come up the day before to visit some friends, John had waited until the morning of the conference to travel up. He was scheduled to present on Friday, so the school board had agreed he could travel up the day before. His pre-dawn flight got him into the city by 7:30am, and since he didn’t have any checked luggage to wait for, he was able to catch a taxi quick enough. By the time the cabbie dropped him off at the hotel, it was still only 8:45am.

“Good morning sir,” quipped a friendly voice which drew John’s attention to the hotel employee working the concierge desk. “Welcome to the Minto Hotel. Are you here for the teacher’s conference?”

Altering his direction toward the desk, John replied, “As a matter of fact I am. I have reservations here for the next two nights.”

“Well most rooms are booked for the conference, so it was a good bet you were one of the attendees. Unfortunately, rooms won’t be ready until noon, and early check-in starts at 1pm, but if you’d like to leave your bag with me, I can make sure it makes it up to your room for you.”

John smiled, “That would be perfect, I had just been planning on stowing it at the back of the conference room and rolling it around with me.” The benefits of traveling light, with his briefcase and a small carry-on bag.

“No need of that, I’ll just take your name and confirm your reservation number and you’ll be all set.”

Pulling out a folded piece of paper from his soft-sided messenger style briefcase

he hands over his hotel reservation details to the concierge, “Here you are.” John waits patiently as the concierge punches the information on the paper into his computer.

“Thank you, everything looks to be in order. Your room is up on the 15th floor. The conference has most of the meeting rooms on the second floor, and I believe the opening is in the Green room. There should be refreshments, including coffee, set out just outside of the rooms. Welcome to Ottawa Mr. Prescott.”

“Thanks for the help,” John says, slipping the man a folded bill as a tip, “it’s greatly appreciated.”

Slinging his briefcase over his shoulder, John finds his way to the wide-open stairs ascending quickly to the second floor. Stepping onto the expansive second floor atrium he immediately is engulfed by what must be over three hundred other teachers and administrators from across the country, all here for the same conference. The atrium itself had an impressive glass ceiling, and the tower of the hotel can be seen through it off to one side. A glass railing circles around the centre, broken only by where the stairs lead from the floor below.

Looking around, Hd Porno John quickly can easily see various meeting rooms leading off from the atrium and easily spots the sign indicating the Green room directly across from the stairs. Posted beside it on the wall is a breakdown of the next few days. Which rooms were being used for which sessions, when and where the scheduled breaks were, and details on a few social events that the organizers had put together for the conference goers. From what he had seen so far, this conference might actually be worthwhile. God knows many of the professional learning opportunities, especially the local ones, he’d been subjected to over the years had been less useful than the paper they had been advertised on.

Making his way over to one of the refreshments stands that had been set up, John pours himself a coffee he moves off to one side to add his customary two cream and two sugars.

“John?!” a voice suddenly exclaims, “That can’t be you, can it?”

That voice. The voice that, if he was forced to be honest with himself, John had simultaneously been praying for and dreading for the past 20 years.

Turning around slowly, trying to regain his composure and swallow down the shock slowly rising in the back of his throat, John comes face to face with her. Charlotte Lovelock.

“Charlotte? Oh my god, it IS you,” John sputters, “what are you doing here?” The realization of just how foolish this question is doesn’t cross his mind until well after the words have left his mouth, after all everyone was here for the conference, dumbass, he thought to himself.

“I’m here for the conference, which I’m guessing you are too.” She giggles that infectious giggle that had first caught his attention all of those years ago. Back when they were both teenagers at camp. “Have you had a chance to look over the program? It looks surprisingly well put together.”

“Yes, I am, er, it does” John stammers, his brain desperately trying to catch up with the situation. “I didn’t realize that you’d become a teacher. I always expected to see you on stage, do you still sing?” he makes an attempt to gain control of the conversation, and his mind.

Charlotte giggles again, her nose doing that sexy wrinkle that it does, “Oh I still love to sing, and I actually run the choir programs at my school, but let’s face it I was never going to make it big. I don’t crave the limelight enough to sacrifice everything the way I would have needed to.”

“And what about you? I thought you were planning to become some sort of hot shot lawyer?” she adds.

John shrugs, secretly thankful for the chance for his mind to get back on track, “Well I was able to audit a few courses at the law school I my final year of my undergrad. I thought they were interesting as hell, but I realized I’d be stuck forever reading legal briefs and opinions as opposed to actually doing some good.” Looking around at the myriad other teachers beginning to file past them into the main room he adds, “So like everyone else here, teaching seemed like a great way to make a positive impact on the world in my own small way.”

Charlotte smiles, nodding, “It is a very rewarding profession in that way, isn’t it? It looks like we are about to get started.” She turns and heads for the entryway into the large theatre style room. She pauses for a moment and then glances back at John, “Sit with me?”

“I’d love to.”

After listening to the chair of the organizing committee welcome everyone, the first key note speaker took the mic, and after an interesting TED Talk on current trends in education, everyone went for a quick break before heading off to their first breakout sessions in the other, smaller rooms. Charlotte and John were registered for two different sessions, and, after promising to meet up at lunch and exchanging phone numbers, went their separate ways.

Sitting in his next session, John was preoccupied with thoughts of Charlotte.

She hadn’t changed a bit. Oh sure, there were a few wrinkles around her eyes, and her freckles were a touch darker than John remembered, but to him she was just as perfect as she had been the last time they had been together all those years before.

John and Charlotte had met while at a camp in the beautiful Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia. For three weeks they had flirted and talked, the way that closely supervised 13 and 14 year olds did back then. Despite being in different sections, they had managed to spend as much of their free time with each other as humanly possible, even sneaking away miraculously for an awkward teenage make out session. By the end of those three weeks, John knew he was in love.

Over the next few years John and Charlotte had stayed in touch, writing long letters to each other every few weeks. Meeting up was out of the question as they lived over a thousand kilometers apart. She in Newfoundland and he in New Brunswick. Attempts to meet up at camp the next few years always fell through, and as so often happens, they drifted apart.

Then Türkçe Altyazılı Porno he got an email from her. In it, she detailed how she had moved to New Brunswick to attend university and was living just down the road, no more than 45 minutes away. They began emailing and chatting on the phone at nights. Before either of then realized it, they were dating. That summer John took a job at the same camp where he had met and invited Charlotte to visit him one weekend. And what a weekend it had been…

He is pulled back to the present by the scraping of chairs as his session, which he has completely missed thanks to his trip down memory lane, wraps up. He checks his phone, and aside from the usual notifications from the regular social media apps, he has one text waiting for him. From Charlotte.

CL: Hey, where 2 for lunch?

JP: I know a place

CL: Kk meet in lobby??

John quickly replies with a thumbs up, followed by c u soon

Heading down the stairs, John spots Charlotte waiting for him exactly where she said she would be. As she turns and spots him, her face lights up, “Hey you. Wasn’t sure if you got my messages or not. How was your session?”

“Oh, it was alright, I guess. Kind of hard to follow at times,” John replies, especially when you are reliving the past 20 years in your head, he thinks to himself. “I had my phone on silent mode, sorry about that.”

“No problem,” she replies. “So. Where to for lunch? I’m afraid I don’t know Ottawa at all.”

“Well, you are in luck. I’ve been here a few times, and if my memory serves there is a great sandwich shop just around the corner,” he motions her forward and around the right side of the building.

“Sounds great,” she replies as she takes his arm, “lead on.”

The warmth of her body in contact with his after so many years is difficult to comprehend. John stumbles forward, praying the shop is still there and that he won’t make a complete fool of himself. As they come around the corner, they spy the shop. A tiny whole in the wall spot that almost looks like the entrance to a back alley between buildings. Charlotte eyes John suspiciously, “Here?” she asks.

“Trust me,” comes the confident reply. “This is the best sandwich shop in the city. You’d be surprised who might be in here.”

Her reply is a raised eyebrow, “Oh?”

“Yes, keep in mind we are only a block down from the Parliament buildings, and politicians and reporters have to eat too.”

They enter the shop, which has a surprising amount of room in it compared to the tiny store frontage presented to the outside world. Even more surprising is the clientele. An assortment of recognizable faces and personalities of various political and media affiliations. After waiting in the line to order, they receive their sandwiches and after determining there are no available seats, head outside.

As they are leaving Charlotte’s eyes bug out slightly and she turns to John as the step out onto the street, “Did you see who was in the booth in there?? I’d have thought he couldn’t stand her based on how they argue in the media!”

John shrugs and smiles, “Like I said, this is a strange place at times. I suppose they have their own public personalities, but deep down can relate to why they got into politics.”

Considering his words, Charlotte nods, “That’s fair enough…but they are at extreme opposites of the political spectrum…a staunch conservative sharing lunch with an orange blooded NDP… I never would have imagined it.”

John chuckles, “I’d imagine that place has seen more than its fair share of political intrigue. To be a fly on that wall…” his voice trails off.

As they walk along the pedestrian only Sparks Street, they chat and eat, catching up and filling each other in on the past 20 years. They are both surprised to learn how closely their lives had paralleled one another’s. She had a daughter back home that she was raising on her own after divorcing her husband, while he had a son and a wife in name only. Both felt that they were missing something in their lives.

As they walked back to the hotel for the afternoon session the flirting was starting to become more obvious. She wrapped her arm around his as they walked and rested her head on his shoulder. John sighs, for the first time in many years feeling truly content.

“What do you have in store for the rest of the day?” she asks.

“I’m actually headed off site to the National War Museum,” checking his watch he adds, “and should be meeting the group in the lobby here in about ten minutes to head over together.” Looking over at her, her perfect face framed with her brilliant red hair, large green eyes looking at him the same way she used to… he breaks the trance and asks, “What are you up to?”

“I’m off to the National Gallery for a session on how to incorporate Canadian artists and their art in elementary education.”

“That sounds interesting…” John says, “although I’m much more of a high school Brazzers guy myself. So aside from the elementary part, I’m sure that could be very informative.”

Charlotte giggles, “Oh Mr. Prescott, I’m sure all of the high school girls must be crazy for you…”

John laughs, “Hardly…” before suddenly thinking that his classes did tend to be female heavy…and the school population was more male than female.

Seeing his sudden realization Charlotte laughs, “Oh John, you’ve always been oblivious to things like that, I’m glad to see some things haven’t changed.” She gives him a soft kiss on the cheek and then adds, “Looks like your group is getting ready to leave. Have a great afternoon.” She winks and turns to head off before adding, “Text me!”

John nods and waves, confused by the feeling in the pit of his stomach. It was almost like the past 20 years hadn’t happened, his heart felt like it was going to burst for Charlotte, and he could die happy. His brain on the other hand kept pulling him back to reality, the reality where he was a, if not happily married, then at least still a married man.

The afternoon went by quickly. Charlotte had a session off-site, at the National Gallery and John went to the National War Museum for a seminar on bringing history education to life in high schools. Throughout the afternoon they text back and forth, sharing little quips and engaging in some harmless flirting.

At one point John sent Charlotte a picture of himself standing next to a large WW2 era piece of artillery.

JP: Think they’ll let me take this home with me? Lol

CL: Nice looking canon Mr. Prescot… and look at the artillery! 😉

JP: such a tease

CL: …and you love it

A few minutes later Charlotte sends him a picture of herself with a marble statue of one of the Founding Fathers.

JP: Beautiful piece of art…and you’re with a statue!

CL: Groan…such a dad joke…

JP: Sorry not sorry

CL: don’t be, it still made me blush and made a little wet 😉

Reading her last comment, John almost drops his phone in shock, before he decides to ask about meeting for dinner that night.

CL: Sorry, already have plans ☹ meeting up with a former prof of mine

JP: No worries, you going to the social get together tonight?

CL: Absolutely, see you there???

JP: Sounds like a plan!

He his rewarded with a thumbs up reply, and then a few minutes later the followed by another message.

CL: It’s a date 😊

The rest of the afternoon passes uneventfully. John grabs dinner with a few of the other history teachers form his afternoon session, the whole time thinking about how Charlotte had called that night a date. He had been pretty clear that he was married… but she had always been able to read him like a book. So it is entirely probable that she’d picked up on his current frustration on the home front. After dinner, John returns to his room. He gets a quick shower, changes into some casual clothes before calling home to say goodnight to his son and wife who was her usual pleasant if distant self. They talk for a few minutes about how their days had been but it is very clear that she isn’t paying attention to what he’s saying, offering monosyllabic responses, “uh-huh, yup, that’s nice…”. After a few minutes she excuses herself, saying that she needs to get back to a report she was writing for the next day.

Hanging up his phone, John is struck by just how lonely his life is. How any sense of intimacy with his wife is now a feeling like room-mates who happen to have a child together. As if on cue his phone buzzes in his hand, a text from Charlotte.

CL: Just about ready, meet you in the lobby!

The message is followed by a picture of Charlotte standing in front of her mirror, mostly steamed up, smiling at the camera with her come-hither eyes and… no shirt. Unfortunately, but no doubt very purposefully, only her face and neck down to her collar bone is clearly visible, the rest almost completely obscured by the condensation on the mirror.

JP: Looking great! Maybe wipe away some of the condensation and take another one?? 😉

A moment later and another pic pops up…this time it is a wiped down mirror but taken at an angle that doesn’t show Charlotte at all.

CL: Better? 😊

JP: Such a tease… c u soon

John grabs his room key and heads out the door, catching the elevator as a few other conference goers are loading in for the trip down to the lobby for that night’s social activity, a pub crawl of all things.

God, when was the last time he’d been on a pub crawl? It had to have been 15 years, at least. He sighs, well if there is one thing teachers can do aside from ramble on about nothing, it’s drink. On the plus side, the list of bars for the crawl that night is surprisingly well thought out. Starting down in the market area and working their way back towards the hotel. Probably the smartest route possible, and they had set aside time for ‘drunken history lessons’ en route. This might be a fun night after all.

As he walks out into the foyer, John catches a glimpse of himself in a mirror, he’s opted for something classy but casual in a pair of lightly frayed jeans mixed with a collared plaid shirt worn under a forest green sweater. Looking in the mirror he frowns.

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