*This is part of the The Interpreter Diaries series. All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental. Did you miss Episode One?
A Conversation With Family
“So, Ava, what is it that you do again?” Her uncle asks.
He’s been told several times but it gets lost in translation.
“She’s a teacher, she teaches disabled children.” Her mom says from the kitchen.
She hasn’t heard the last three times dad called her name but somehow she heard that question over her chopping of vegetables and the roar of the fan above the stove.
“No, I don’t. I’m not a teacher.” Ava says trying not to roll her eyes.
Her mom jumps in again, “Oh, I thought you were a teacher. Did you change jobs?”
“No, I didn’t I-.”
“Teaching is a tough job there’s a lot of people who have to leave the profession.” Her uncle says, ignoring Ava. “Kids these days are not what they used to be. In my day you went to school, you obeyed your teacher or they would get the strap out and when you got home you got the strap again. Am I right?”
“It’s true.” His wife says sitting beside him at the dining room table.
Ava stares down at the fish and rice her mom serves as they continue on the subject of the ‘good ol’ days.’ She ponders how she’s going to answer this question once and for all about what she does.
“Didn’t you tell me the other day you worked at a school?” Her mom says as she comes out of the kitchen with a wet bowl in her hands.
Everyone had been served and was eating but she’d rather clean than sit down with the rest of them.
“Yes, sometimes I do.”
“The hospital pays more though,” Her dad says. He pats her had as he takes his seat beside her opposite her aunt and uncle.
You work at the hospital too?” Her uncle and aunt are identical as they swivel in their chairs to stare at Ava in shock.
“I do, I-,”
“She just got back from a cruise.” Her dad says. “Tell them how much you made baby, tell them.”
He’s being openly affectionate now but just an hour ago he’d been arguing with her on the ills of not pursuing accounting over sign language interpreting. She’d ended the argument by telling him how much she’d made on her last job while sitting poolside. A regrettable mistake.
“Wow, in my day kids didn’t take cruises in school.” Her uncle says.
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