At one of my elementary schools, the "teacher" restroom is right around the corner from my office. It's nestled right in between the girl's bathroom and the boy's bathroom and I know the path well. I visit that little room a few times during my normal workday. And, since I've worked at that elementary school for nearly three years now, I could probably find my way there with my eyes shut. I could probably even close my eyes and count the steps there. It's a rote thing. My brain just knows the way.
I decided that it was time to use the restroom. I stood up, walked out into the hallway and headed around the corner to the little staff restroom. I pushed down on the handle to enter and noticed that it was locked. Must be in use.
Should I stand and wait for the person inside to finish and come out so that I could go in? Or should I just give up and head to one of the other faculty restrooms? They aren't very far away... yet, in a rush, they could very well feel far away.
Seeing as there was a young boy standing at the sink (the sinks are outside of the doors to the children's restrooms so that the shenanigans we pulled as children could not be repeated... like throwing soap up onto the ceiling) I decided not to wait. I don't know why. I guess I was embarrassed that he would KNOW why I was waiting. But first I tried the door handle one more time... just in case I was wrong and the restroom wasn't occupied after all. But the door handle still didn't budge.
Should I wait? Should I walk? I decided to walk.
A split second after I turned and headed away, the little boy at the sink called to me.
"Ma'am? Did you need to use the bathroom?"
Embarrassed, because things like little kids knowing that I need to use a restroom embarrass me, I called back to him, "No, that's okay. I'm going to the office."
He said, "But did you want the bathroom?"
I was insistant. "No, that one's got someone in it. I'll just go to the office."
"Okay," he said.
And I headed up the hallway.
Later on, it became time to find my way to the little room again... and I walked that well-trod path to the staff restroom. And I reached for the silver door handle and pushed down on it. It was locked again. What the... It's never occupied. I'm in a wing that most teachers don't come to. WHY is someone in there? Again?
And then I noticed... that the sign on the door read...
I moved over one door promptly and entered the correct room immediately. Hoping no one had seen.
I'm never coming out, either. I'd rather live in here than face that little boy again. He just might still be lurking outside the door.