Somebody grabs my hand from behind and tugs on it. But I don’t want to leave. I want to stay on the stage, singing. Singing forever as long as I can be with him.
Yet I’m not strong enough to resist. I shout. Scream. Pound my carrier with my hands like a small child. He watches me – as if what just happened hasn’t quite hit him. And then he’s out of my view, and the truth dawns on me.
He’s my teacher. My music teacher. That’s all he’s supposed to be. And I just kissed him – in front of everybody. Or he kissed me. I don’t know. I don’t care who initiated it. It was perfect.
Kicking and punching, they take me to a classroom. It’s far away from everyone, but I can still hear the aftershock to the earthquake we’d created. Students are laughing, talking and shouting. Their voices come as a low rumble. What must they think of me?
They sit me down on a chair. It’s Mrs West, my English teacher. Old hag. But she isn’t the one that carried me. No, also standing there is the Deputy Headmaster, Mr Reed. Without meaning to, I shiver. He’s cruel and unforgiving – and probably won’t listen to me.
“Would you mind explaining to me what happened just there?” he asks me, but I know I have no choice. I have to answer it. And I know what I have to do.
Taking a deep breath, I look at him directly.
“I kissed my teacher,” I try to say confidently, but it comes out as more of a whisper.
“You initiated it?” he asks. I hesitate. I could be expelled, right now. On the spot. I’d have to go to another school...and I’d be known as the slut who kissed her teacher.
“I did.” There’s not much else I can say. If only I’d have just sang. He wouldn’t have joined me…and it would never have happened. No. I do not regret it. I will not regret it. It’s meant to be.
“Are you sure?” he encourages. The look in his eyes is questioning – as if he can see through me. I always knew teachers could read minds.
“I’m certain.” He doesn’t even reply. Instead, he turns around, walks out of the door and leaves me in the classroom with Mrs West.
I prepare for the questions, the accusations…the allegations. But none come. Instead, she puts her hand on my shoulder and tells me everything is going to be okay.
“You don’t have to lie for him, sweetie,” she tells me. It’s patronising. I’m seventeen, not seven.
“I’m not lying,” I say venomously.
“How long has this been happening?” The question irritates me.
“It hasn’t been happening at all. We were lost in the moment. It’s an emotional song.” She nods, but I can tell she doesn’t believe me. Why would she? But I am telling the truth.
I’d had a crush on him for ages, of course. But I never did anything – not once. Neither did he. We practised my song together. He taught me piano and guitar. He helped me with music. That’s all we did. I promise.
A siren. I hear it, loud and clear. Ringing, alerting me of what’s to come. They’re taking him away!
Quickly, I get up from my seat – I push through the door but find myself slamming into something. It’s the Deputy Headmaster again. And he’s not letting me go anywhere.
“Where do you think you’re going?” he growls. Taking notice of his distraction, I run passed him. Nothing stops me as I sprint along the corridors, looking behind me every so often.
But outside, I am greeted with a sight I don’t want to see. They have him in handcuffs. Strong, silver metal ones.
“No!” I scream, running at the car. “Stop it. It’s my fault.”
“Miss Logan, we’re going to have to ask you to take a step back.”
There’s tears in my eyes now. Tears that could fill the ocean.
“Listen to me,” I yell, trying to push passed. But the policeman’s arms are strong. They’re not provoked.
And then somebody else is restraining me. The policemen get into their car. They put on the sirens again. They’re loud – so loud that they hurt my ears. But nobody cares.
As they drive passed, I get one last look at him. His hair so soft, his lips that made magic on mine…his eyes that I was lost inside.
I can’t hear the words, but I can see them on his lips.