I decided to start classes again when the pile of work had expanded off the desk onto the floor and when the bags under Kian's eyes were almost as big as the eyes themselves. I was stiff all over from head to toe, but the scars had faded to a dull pink and the bruises had turned yellowy-green. Kian accompanied me to class; he was bounding up and down very excited to see I was back on my feet; he opened every door for me and even carried my books around with his. I wasn't going to complain about this special treatment but I didn't expect it to last long, in class the teacher welcomed me back,
"Ah good to see you Felicity, I'm pleased you have finally decided to make an effort to come into school," I smiled ignoring the latter comment,
"She had no choice Sir, she almost died!" Kian butted in, he put his hand on my shoulder and brought me behind him defensively,
"She may have almost died but this is an excellent school and missing classes usually isn't tolerated, I trust you have kept up with the work load Miss Power?" I stepped around Kian and nodded,
"Every last homework," I replied, the teacher smiled and beckoned me over,
"Then you shall find this test very easy indeed," he handed me a paper and a pen and sat me down away from the others, I opened the page and read the first question.
1. Name 3 composers from Austria
I skipped the question hoping to come back to it,
2. How do you test on a woodwind instrument if the sound is sharp or flat and how do you alter it?
My hand began to shake with anxiousness, I didn't know either,
3. Name the 3 characteristics of a romantic sample of music
I put the pen down and sat back in my chair, the teacher's back was facing me; I signalled at the test and then did a confused face at Kian. He put down the drums sticks and shrugged, the teacher walked over to him and instructed him to do something, I sighed and picked the pen up. After sitting there for another five minutes re-reading the first three questions and then through the paper I realised I couldn't answer any. The teacher headed back to me and smiled unkindly,
"Finished?" he asked, I sighed,
"I couldn't answer any of them," I replied truthfully, the teacher didn't seem surprised as he leant towards me,
"That is because you have slacked off!" he yelled directly in my face, I sat back fighting the tears,
"I promise I will catch up!"
"You have roughly 6 weeks to catch up the 3 weeks you missed, plus another 6 weeks of intense work, you will not complete the course!"
"I will!" I replied standing up, Kian rushed over and spoke,
"Do we have a problem sir?"
"Your friend here knows nothing, she's a hindrance to the establishment!" my lower lip wobbled and I pushed the chair away, the bell went and I knew we had a 5 minute break for me to regain myself. I left Kian with the teacher and ran back to the bedroom; I sank onto the bed and let the tears flow out.
"I can't take it anymore!" I cried as Kian stepped through the door, he came towards me and put his arm around my shoulder, I buried my face to hide my shame.
"Liss, you are the most resilient and brave person I have ever met; you can't give up now! It's only a little longer until Christmas! And after Christmas we only have five more days of this left! I know you can do it!" Kian said passionately,
"I can't Kian, this is too much! It was hard enough to understand all this when the teacher was there to explain it all to me! But this is just too much! There is no way I can cram all this into my head and expect it to stay there for the skills assessment at the end of the course!" I burst. Kian was far cleverer than me in the short-run, he could pick up a concept and carry it with him, I spent hours trying to understand it.
"All right Liss it's time for our next class, it's going to be okay Liss; we are going to do this...together." Kian said profusely, he lifted me off the bed as if I were a doll and carried me out the room,
"Please don't put me down, when we get to class, I mean," I asked him, I couldn't do this alone and the only person I could confide it, the only person I could trust, the only person who I'd ever loved was the one who was holding me so tightly now.
"I won't let you go Liss, not this time." He told me, a sense of warmth wrapped around me and sent tingling into my stomach, having the same feelings reciprocated allowed me to relax and calm down, ready for the next lesson.