Katie Brill, Grade 10, Australian Christian College -
I put my head down as I walk into school. When I reach my classroom I pray in my head that I'm not too late, that I won't have to face my teacher, and they won't tell me to look at them. It seems that my prayer is ignored as I walk in the classroom and someone yells to the teacher "Hey sir! Martha's late!" If I had the courage I'd give that kid the death stare but I don't it won't help, in fact, it would probably make it worse for me, I've avoided looking people in the eye but it always seems to do no good. The teacher calls me to the front of the classroom and I know what's going to happen, I dread it but I know he won't make an exception for anybody. So I slowly walk to the front, trying to stall the inevitable. "Martha school started fifteen minutes ago." I can tell he's about to lecture me in front of the class, this is his favourite form of punishment. "I'm sorry Mr. Newper, it won't happen again," I mumble hoping he'll let me off the hook. " Miss. Rickom, stop mumbling and look me in the eye when you apologise, I'm trying to teach you a lesson here," At least that was a short lecture I thought trying to distract myself from what I was going to have to do. "Come on Miss. Rickom, I don't have all day I have a class to teach." He tutted. "I'm sorry Mr. Newper," I say louder. I look at his forehead as I say it, "Miss. Rickom I said look me in the eye. How else will I know you mean it" he says frustratedly. "I'm sorry Mr. Newper." Then it happens as it always does, I look into his eyes and I'm dragged into his past, A child alone on a swing set as other, bigger children surround him slowly and menacingly closing in, a fist swings. Another scene, an older version of the child with a paper in his hand walks to the front of a classroom, hands a paper in, the teacher looks at it, then back at the young man and tears the paper in half. I'm dragged out again, the young man now a grown man on one knee, a woman shakes her head. I'm flung back to the present and find I'm staring at the ceiling my head pounds and I realise people are looking at me first I see David, and I quickly shut my eyes but it's too late, I'm flung into his memories a young child cowering in the corner as shouts erupt from outside the room. Another memory, Christmas time it seems, his dad with a suitcase in his hand slams the door behind him as he walks out. I'm back in my class, I quickly get up and walk to my desk not looking at anyone as I say "I'm fine."