The International Writers Magazine:First Day at School
Myself and I
my first day here today. Echoes of a time long past on another
first day keep bubbling up from my belly into my throat. I push
them down, telling myself not to be stupid, remembering who I
am now and all Ive been through to get here today, at this
point in my life
Its my first
day here today. Feelings of fear freeze my mind as I stare at the page
of sums in the book on my desk. I am alone in a vast room of row upon
row of desks at the front of which sits Mrs. Allen, her head bowed over
a book. The other children all work quietly, seeming to know
is it they know? I just keep staring at the words on the page, hoping
somehow Ill understand.
I am frightened. Angry with Mum and Dad for making me miss the first
week of a new school, missing my best friend who went on to a different
one. Then, oh no, that other nightmare, needing the toilet half way
through a lesson. Too scared to put up my hand to be excused, I start
to wriggle on my chair, shifting to the right and left, the chair legs
scrape on the floor, echoing around the room.
Mrs. Allens eyes scan the room. Its as if she somehow knows,
but not wishing to show kindness, will hold back from asking if I am
alright, delighting silently in watching my suffering. My eyes keep
boring into the words on the page as I send a silent begging prayer
that somehow maybe the heavens will open and Mrs. Allen and my sum book
will disappear for ever and ever amen.
A shadow looms over me. I jump in fright as Mrs. Allens hand grips
"Let me see your work," Says she.
I cannot bear to look at her face as she sucks in air between her teeth.
"Stay in at the end of the lesson," She hisses.
Panic is rising inside me now as I realise that Ill miss my school
dinner, and I need a wee so badly. Will I be brave enough to go before
its too late?
Alone in the room now, standing beside Mrs Allen who sits at her desk,
she repeats to me, "Seventeen minus seven! Seventeen minus seven!"
I dont understand. I wasnt here when they did minus. How
can I do seventeen minus seven when no ones told me what minus
Mrs. Allen is getting crosser and crosser. She picks up her brown, wooden
ruler and whacks me on the legs. She is getting into a rhythm now, "Seventeen
minus seven! Seventeen minus seven!" Whack! "Seven" Whack!
"Teen" Whack! "Minus" Whack! "Seven" Whack!
"Teen" Whack! On it goes until, oh no, I can feel the hot
wee running down my legs, Mrs. Allen looking down in disgust.
"Get yourself to the lavatory, you stupid, dirty child," She
seethes. "Then go to lunch!"
I scurry away, tears in my eyes as an uncontrollable sobbing rises in
my throat, with a deep feeling of shame that Id wet myself again.
© Chris Churcher Oct 2005
Chris is a Creative Arts student at the University of Portsmouth and
mother of three
all rights reserved - all comments are the writers' own responsibiltiy
- no liability accepted by hackwriters.com or affiliates.