“How’s the book going?” Jennette Richards, my friend and fellow English teacher asked, sipping her tea. We were in the staffroom, curled up on the old purple chairs that littered the floor. The bell would ring in a moment, signalling the end of lesson two and the beginning of form time.
“It’s not. The whole thing sort of stopped when Carrie met David. It’s like I can’t write if they’re together.” I sighed heavily. The story plot line had dogged me since the end of the school term, refusing to move on every time I sat down to write.
“Maybe Carrie isn’t meant to be with David. Maybe it’s a sign.”
“A sign for what may I ask? The end of a writing career before it starts?”Jennette laughed.
“No. Maybe Carrie needs another guy, or a girl.” I gave her a look she knew all to well. “Sorry.” I shook my head, smiling.
“I don’t know. I’m hoping I’ll get inspired now we’re back off half term.” The bell rang, and Jen and I stood and began to walk to our classrooms.
“Oh yes, the inspiring life of a teacher” Jen said dramatically. I laughed and nodded.
“But you never know.” I stopped outside my room where a couple of students were already lined up. “Hello Gemma, did you have a nice holiday?”
“Yes thanks Miss.”
“Good.” I unlocked the door and then walked over to my desk, tapping some keys on my laptop to wake it up. As the screen lit up, my form filtered in.
“Hey Miss, have a good holiday?”The student was one of my Year 13’s, a boy who believed he was the most attractive guy on earth. He always flirted with me, and many other female teachers, in a jokey fashion. He’s a nice boy, but not the brightest kid in the world.
“Yes thank you Kieran, and yourself?”
“Ace. I’ve been working out. Check it.” He pulled his arms up, baring his muscles. I grinned.
“Very manly. Now sit down and impress someone your own age.”
“There’s no one like you Miss.” He winked and blew a kiss before sitting down and arching his eyebrows.
“I’m blushing” I said sarcastically, then focussed on the register. Looking up at each name, I began to tick everyone’s name off the register. Two thirds of the way down, there was a knock on the door.
“Come in!” The door opened and admitted Mrs Davis, the main receptionist at the school. “Hello Mrs Davis. What can I do for you?”
“You have a new student in your form and your Year 13 English class too.” She looked behind her, then sighed and leant in to the corridor. “Come on, stop dilly-dallying.”
“Dilly-dallying?” Kieran mouthed, making some of the class giggle. I had to stifle my own as Mrs Davis turned to face the class.
“This is your new classmate” she announced as a girl entered the room. “Say hello to Charlie Malone.”
I was staring in to the familiar face of my fellow jogger from this morning. Her long brown hair was straight around her face now, and her green eyes sparkled with recognition as they switched from the class, to me.
“Charlie, welcome to our form.”
“Thanks.” She was grinning at me now, and once again I had that strange feeling that I should be blushing.
“I’m Miss Gregory, your form tutor, and English teacher. If you have any questions or problems, you can come to me. Thank you Mrs Davis!” I called as she closed the door. “Well,” I looked back at Charlie, “I’m sorry to have to do this to anyone, but the only seat left is next to Kieran, so I guess you have to sit there.” The class giggled.
“You know you don’t mean that Miss.” Kieran winked at me.
“Have fun,” I said apologetically to Charlie as she sat next to Kieran and he gave her an appraising look. “I hope everyone will make Charlie feel welcome. Gemma, will you show her around?” Gemma nodded and turned to face Charlie, beginning to make friends with her already. I smiled. The class broke in to chatter as I finished the register. While I began to check through the worksheets for my next lesson, I glanced up and caught Charlie looking at me. She grinned. I smiled back, but looked hurriedly down at the worksheets and stayed like that until the bell rang for break. Every student exited as fast as they could, except for Charlie who hung around. Gemma waited impatiently outside.
“It’s nice to see you again Summer.” Charlie kept her voice low as Gemma would be able to hear through the door.
“Charlie, I’m afraid you’ll have to call me Miss Gregory from now on.”
“Alright. It’s nice to see you again Miss Gregory.”
“And you. It’s nice to see some students taking an interest in health. Now go with Gemma and make friends. I need to lock up.”
“Yes Miss.” She walked out of the room grinning and followed Gemma down the corridor. Jennette came in soon after.
“Yeah. The same girl I met jogging this morning actually.”
“Oh dear, that’s major ammo, seeing you in that sports bra.” She laughed. I threw a pen at her and then laughed too.
“Alright you. Let’s go and get a cup of tea before the tea bags get stolen by sixth formers.”
“Jen, you could show some decorum you know. I’d like to keep this job.”
“Alright Stuffy McSports bra. Come on, before you pass your stuffiness to me.” We bickered jokingly all the way to the staffroom.