I am a teacher exactly like Professor Lupin from the Harry Potter movies. Not the books; the movies. I teach as well as he does and know all my students on first name terms. They come to me for advice and help. They're truthful with me. My clothes are shabby but not too bad. I live in the middle of London at no 7 Little Russel street. I am a teacher my students remember fondly.
My husband is a tall handsome man with blond hair and blue eyes: he's a playful cad and a socialite, but never unfaithful, though he knows he can be. We met whilst in Shipman's at Leicester Square, looking through expensive books on Degas. I we talked a little and when he went to leave he discovered I'd paid for the book he'd been looking through, but was too poor to buy himself. People are often surprised to discover he's married to me. I have money enough to give him whatever he wants, though he's never too demanding. Occasionally he splurges on something ridiculous and is always surprised at how little I am bothered. He paints for a living, whereas I teach art. I never draw at home, but on occasion a doodle escapes me, and he likes to keep these as book marks. Sometimes he turns up at my school uninvited and asks to sit in on the lessons. He is always disruptive. My pockets are often full of candy and he likes to help himself to this too. I do not like to leave London but he loves to travel, and every year we go on a holiday to somewhere European, for him. He always gets sunburned.
We have a young son who is eight years old, and we are at Trafalgar Square with him. His hair is very dark and his eyes are as blue as his Father's. He's a quiet and obedient. He is far far smarter then other children of his age, though his Father is comfortably oblivious to this. The day was spent walking around the National Portrait Gallery, my husband and I lecturing our son on famous characters in our different ways. My son will not run anywhere but for his Father. My husband picks him up whenever he finds a painting he likes; even though my son is eight, which (he considers) is far too old for a Father to be carrying, he never makes a complaint. He buys a small selection of postcards, as do I; my husband buys an enormous number, and sifts through them looking delighted as we leave.
We all go to Bennihanas and I tell my son about coming here for the first time after having gone to America. He always wants to know what my life was like there. My husband looks annoyed: he hates America, and is worried my son will want to go there some day. Little does he know my son despises the country as much as he does.
Later, while his Father snoozes on the highest platform of Nelson's column, my son confesses that he wants to become a teacher at Oxford. I tell him this is a good ambition, and if he ever needs any help with it he need only let me know. He wants to know if I think he will be able to do it. I tell him I think he can do anything he wants to do. He asks me why I never wanted to work at a famous old University. I explain that I never needed material gain or a huge house to make me feel happy: I was happy with my husband and my son.
My son asks why I fell in love with his Father, as my husband lies on his back, a leaf having blown onto his face without his knowledge. I explain to him that it was a case of good luck: I found someone with whom I am happy, and that's it. My son looks confused at this. I smile and tell him about having sat on that same spot when I was a teenager of only seventeen, looking at The National Gallery for what felt like the last time. About how he might one day look back on this moment, whilst sitting in the same place with his own family. He shrugs and leans against me; his weight comforting as we watch the sky grow dark.