‘If you’re going to turn your life into a monologue make sure you pick out the interesting parts. Kitchen sink drama is all very well but in my class you’ll have to smash a couple of dishes.’ Ms Withrow paused and searched their faces. She settled her eyes on Leesa’s hair and walked towards her, reaching out to stroke the high purple spikes. ‘There will be none of the ordinary here. Tell me dear, what was on your mind while you laced up those wonderful boots? Quickly now, don’t stop to think, just blurt it out.’
‘I…’ Leesa licked her lips.
‘Come on, out with it. Take your hands back and return to that time. Where were you?’
‘In the kitchen, I was late and my mother was screaming at my brother.’
‘Don’t deviate, who are you dear? We want to know.’
Leesa stared at her boots; she hooked her fingers through the loops of black lace.
‘I hate my house; I can’t stand the cold food and my mother’s voice – always screaming. Do you know, I can get washed, dressed and out of there in five minutes flat but this morning I was caught in the middle. Suddenly she wanted my opinion. She never talks to me, except to shout after I leave. It was all, I need you to help me Leesa, and, You know I depend on you. Yeah right.’ As she felt herself mimicking her mother’s voice she became aware that everyone was looking at her, and stopped.
‘Beautufully done. I particularly enjoyed your face and head when you were your mother – so did everyone else.’ At her nod, the rest of the class applauded but didn’t dare laugh at her embarrassment; they kept their eyes fastened to this apparition in front of them, this teacher who had enticed that performance from the most silent girl in the school.