Pastoral

The school corridors were eerie during lesson time. Not that I was scared or anything. It's just a bit weird seeing them without people shouting, laughing, shoving and stumbling through the sea of students. 

But now the tide had gone out, and all was silent. 

I could just about see the man in my periphery, and it finally came to me where he worked: the pastoral office. This, however, didn't give me much information about why on earth I had been taken out of class. I almost never got notes - and certainly not for pastoral. That's where people go for counselling, and stuff. Personal things. Not me. 

It seemed like a lifetime before we reached our destination, and I was pretty shocked when I got there. The man had his own little private office (pretty cosy I suppose), with beanbags, a kettle, colourful cushions, the whole lot. It was really very nice. I wouldn't mind having one of these little offices myself, you know. It'd be neat, a room with beanbags, just for you. Really neat. 

I thought sitting on a beanbag would be a bit informal, so I just kind of perched on one of the sofas. I didn't expect to be staying long. What did this guy want, anyway?

"Take your bags off if you'd like, Damon." I smiled and obeyed him silently, slipping my bag off my shoulder and placing it on the space next to me. He sat down on the sofa opposite. 

"Now, I..." he stopped, suddenly, and furrowed his eyebrows. "Oh! I haven't even introduced myself. Do excuse me. I'm Mr Farrington, but you can call me Nick. I only really like being addressed by my first name, I don't know why I always say my last name first..."

I leaned forward, and offered a handshake.

"Damon Lee. But apparently, you already know that." I said, slipping my hand out of his grip and settling into the sofa a bit more. It was very comfortable.

"Would you like a cup of tea?" He said, gesturing over to the kettle.

"Oh - no thank you. I'm fine." 

"Very well then." He fidgeted in his seat a bit, looked at me, looked away, and sighed. His eyes looked sad, and I could see him making sentences in his mind and then scribbling them out and starting again.

"Damon, I am really, so very sorry." He started to reach for the box of tissues, and my stomach began sinking, and then my heart went down too, like two anchors chained together. Why did I need tissues? I began to think they were for him, because his eyes began to get a bit glassy and I could see tears forming in the outer corners - but he was holding them out to me with his shaky hands.

I ripped myself out of my head and back into reality, and took the box from Nick. 

"Thank you?" I said, not sure whether I was actually thanking him or just questioning his actions.

"I'm not sure how to say it. Oh, dear."

He took my hand and looked at the floor.

"It's your parents," he said. "They've passed on."

The End

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