“Hello, folks! Merv here. Welcome back to another day on 'Second Chances'. Today, our guest on the show is a tried and true New Yorker, teaching students by day and making art by night, Folks give it up for…..Cora Flores!” the large room filled with thunderous applause as Cora made her way onstage. Her long dirty blonde hair flowed freely down her shoulders and her dark brown eyes were shining with hope. She smiled and waved shyly to the crowd as she sat in the chair meant for her.
“Hello, Cora! How are you doing today?”
“I’m doing great! Super excited to be here.”
“We’re excited to have you! So, what brings you from the big apple to our small town here in Colorado?”
“Well, Merv, I’d hardly call this town small, but, I’m here for a second chance.” More applause filled the room as the signature line was said. Merv chuckled and signaled for the crowd to quiet down.
“Alright, alright folks, settle down. Care to explain Cora?” Cora laughed and relaxed into the soft chair, crossing her legs.
“Well, a couple years ago, I gave up. I gave up on my biggest dream. And you know what Merv? Giving up is never the answer. Sometimes, you have to give yourself a second chance. Even if it seems like everything is going wrong. Even if it seems like it’s not the right choice. If you feel it in your heart, it can only be right, you know?” Merv nodded.
“Of course. Now, what kind of dream are you talking about? Hopefully not something illegal. Do I have to tell the kids not to try this at home?” The audience laughed and Cora smiled.
“No, no, not illegal.” she said, pausing for dramatic effect, “I gave up on my art.”
“Your art?!” Cora nodded.
“Yes, my art. Teaching was never something I wanted to do with my life. Ten years ago, if you asked me where I envisioned myself in a decade, I most definitely wouldn’t have said ‘making a worksheet’. I probably would have said something along the lines of ‘going to an art show’ or something like that. But you know what? I didn’t believe. I didn’t believe in myself, I didn’t believe in my abilities, I didn’t believe that me doing art for a living would ever be possible. I thought, ‘you know what, I’m good at teaching, I’ll do teaching’ There’s no ‘what if’ to that, you know? There’s no, ‘what if people suddenly don’t like my art?’ There’s no’ what if I break my arm and can’t make art’. There’s just, go teach kids, come home, eat ‘nd sleep. And some of me was fine with that. A part of me enjoyed seeing the smile on kid’s faces as they understood a math problem. Part of me did like coming home at a set time every day. But the other part…”
“The other part didn’t?”Merv said, sadness edging into his normally peppy voice. Cora looked more far off and distanced as she spoke. She nodded.
“The other part found a way to incorporate a small drawing into almost every assignment. The other part of me longed to doodle as staff meetings wore on. The other part of me wanted to follow the kids to their art class. And so….”
“So you want a second chance?”
“Yes. I want to find the courage in myself to stop teaching and to give my art dreams a second chance. Hopefully, with the support of you guys,” Cora said, slowly turning to look out at the audience.
“Of course. I know I can speak for the entire audience when I say that you have our wholehearted support.” Merv said. As if to confirm it, the audience clapped. “Before we conclude today’s episode, why don’t we take a look at some of Cora’s latest works.” A large screen behind the stage turned on to a presentation featuring pictures of Cora’s artwork. The audience clapped louder and louder as each picture was shown. Cora smiled and blushed, astonished to have received so much love for her artwork.
“Thank you guys so, so much. Your support means the world to me, really. “
“It's our pleasure. Thank you for coming on our show today. Here’s to hoping you give yourself, a second chance!” the show ended as booming applause filled the room once more. They were off air.
The room began to empty quickly. Cora stood up and stretched, covering her eyes as the lights all around the large room turned on. Merv drank some water from one of the glasses on the table. It wasn’t easy being the host of a talk show.
“You were great, Cora, really, what did I tell you, you were nervous for nothing.” Cora smiled.
“You really think so?”
“I know so. And I really do hope you give yourself a second chance. I mean, I want to buy your art!” Merv said, his talk-show charisma showing through. Cora laughed, tucking her hair behind her ear.
“You two comin’?” a techie said, poking his head through the curtains. Merv stood up, smoothing down his suit.
“Yeah, yeah, we’re comin’,” he said. Cora sighed, checking the time on her watch. She walked off the stage and towards the dressing room reserved for the guests of the show. She quickly filled her purse with her makeup, sprayed on some perfume, and walked out. On her way out, she bumped into a man.
“Cora! Wait up!”
“Um, sorry, do I know you?” Cora said, gripping her purse a little tighter.
“It’s me, Merv!” he said, running his hand through his messy brown hair. Cora’s eyes widened in surprise and recognition.
“Oh! Oh my gosh, I didn’t recognize you without a suit! I am so sorry!” she said, embarrassed.
“Oh, it’s no problem, really. I get that a lot…”
“Well, why did you tell me to wait up?”
“Oh! Well, um, I was wondering if you wanted to get a drink?”
“I’m sorry, I don’t drink! Bad for your health and all, you know…”
“I don’t mean like drink drink, I know a killer smoothie shop that’s open practically 24/7.”
“Really? That sounds great.” Cora said. Normally, she wasn’t one to indulge in love, not after her heart was broken. But maybe it was time for her to give it a second chance….