When class was finally over, I slowly gathered my books. To my surprise, Mrs. D was standing in the front, with a grave expression on her face.
"I'm worried about you, Selena," she said. "I'm afraid, you're just not working hard enough."
I noticed that the anger in her voice had been replaced by a sort of concern.
That was when I broke down. In a shaky voice and with tears streaming down my face, I told her about the conditions at home. My father had passed away three years ago, and my mother worked two shifts just to make ends meet. When I wasn't doing homework, I had to look after my three little brothers. I told her that I was sorry, and that I didn't mean to be writing in her class, but it was the only time I could find. I cried a little through short bursts of words, but I think she understood.
She had a look of genuine pity on her face, while I looked down at the ground, thinking I had said too much.
"I want you to stay an hour after school ends," She said. "I'll help you with your writing. I know you don't wan't my help, but you'll thank me when your grades rise."
Saying so, she walked briskly out of the classroom. I looked after her, still refusing to believe that she thought I had a problem with my writing.
Sullenly, I trudged out of the classroom.
The after-school sessions with Mrs. D were tedious. She would make me rewrite passages from books, asking me to pay special attention to my handwriting and spellings. I was completely against this, because I didn't see the point. I went to class with a bitter expression on my face, and came out looking even grumpier.
One day, Mrs. D brought a typewriter. She showed it to me and explained that it had belonged to her great grandfather who had been a writer. Since then, it had been passed down, until it was in her possession. I found myself smiling at the way Mrs. d described her queer old relative. By the time I walked out of class, I was feeling light hearted and looked forward to the prospects of meeting Mrs. D again.
Soon Mrs. D and i became good friends She would smile when I walked past her, and I would smile back. She gave me valuable feedback on my writing, and sometimes criticized it, but somehow I didn't feel humiliated like I used to before.
Then suddenly, she shortened the sessions. Instead of an hour, she would spend only forty five minutes with me, and gradually reduced the time until classes were only ten minutes long.
One day, I came into the classroom, and found that Mrs. D wasn't sitting at her usual place near the window, engrossed in a newspaper. i waited around for thirty minutes, but Mrs. D never showed up.I didn't see her for the next few days. I felt disappointed that Mrs. d had let me down like this. I felt silly for actually believing that Mrs. D had been even remotely interested in my writing. Dejected, I went on with my normal schedule. A schedule that didn't involve writing.