Everyone always wonders what Professor McKinley does when school is out. It’s not just the students, either. Even the teachers don’t know. He won’t tell them.
Patrick McKinley is known as one of those confirmed bachelors who really just keeps to himself. He goes to faculty meetings, of course, and his opinions are respected, usually heeded, almost always met with the closest thing to universal support that can be expected from a faculty meeting. But does he ever go to the faculty parties? Only when his life is threatened, but it’s been a few years since that was the case.
“He’s a robot,” some students have decided.
“But like, a kindly robot,” others chip in, “Like a robot who’s friendly and only here to actually help—“
“But doesn’t actually have any real human emotions.”
During the break, his office is empty. Not completely empty, of course. Just as empty as a college professor’s office usually is during breaks. Or at night. Or just when the professor isn’t there. This gives the lie, one must assume, to the collegiate myth that Professor McKinley literally lives in his office. Unless he takes his vacations somewhere truly remote, but no one has ever heard him talk about taking vacations.
No, his office is empty, but only during the breaks. On the very first day of school, at somewhere around eight in the morning, he materializes next to his window, having appeared out of thin air, usually holding a cup of tea. He usually materializes mid-sip. Where did he come from?
This is usually the same position he is in at the end of the term. On the last day, and really even on Fridays, actually at the end of every day of school, every day that there is evidence he exists at all, Patrick McKinley makes himself a cup of tea and looks out the window and at about six PM, he vanishes, without so much as the common decency to become a puff of smoke. Because men like Patrick McKinley only really exist during the actual school year.
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