Failed Mission

Nicholas Quirke was filled with a sense of failure on 30 November 2020 when good intentions were left in tatters as the day ended. It was a teaching day and he planned to go for tea at Teasure in the APM Mall which was a really convenient spot to cycle to and to work on his class preparation and and blog before gong to the school which was only a 15 minute ride away. He had planned to work in the morning but somehow distractions proliferated his time and when it came to go making lunch of carrot and coriander soup he had achieved nothing other than the culinary triumph. Peng had asked him to but two cakes from the Cheesecake Factory in Wangfujing Central Mall on Wangfujing Street, meaning his journey had an added responsibility. He had been there before and he was confident that the rest of his day would go smoothly. He enjoyed his tea, though there seemed very little time to actually enjoy and make the most of the never ending pot. His pupils that evening were Jean and Lucia two utterly gorgeous and impish little girls who’s bubbling, gurgling chatter in their native language totally charmed him. He had them making a book about their home and they spent a focussed hour immersed in their work, drawing a floor plan and writing a simple description. He was really impressed with how they worked and was quite taken aback when Jeans mother complained that her husband was disappointed that she wasn’t reading as well as he thought she should be. From his standpoint her understanding of what he was teaching was commanding for such a young child and that the expectations of the parent were possibly too high. He was really pleased with how the lesson had gone and feeling happier with his role and his ability to communicate as a teacher, which he had always feared would not be conducted in a harmonious ambience. It was in high spirits that headed home, first cycling, then subway and a final swift pedal home from the station. It was therefore with some horror on entering the flat that he saw Peng’s expectant, excited face turn quickly to disappointment on discovering that Nicholas had left the cakes in the fridge at the school. He was angry with himself for being so remiss and put himself in the corner from which he did not emerge until it was time to sit down and watch ‘Words on Bathroom Walls’ an engrossing study of schizophrenia in a teenage american boy. He had almost forgiven himself by the time he went to bed, particularly knowing that he would have to make the journey to the school the next day. Remarkably his failure did not stop him from drifting into a satisfying sleep.


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