I’m sitting in my form classroom, at a table nearest the aisle. There seems to be nothing outside the window, nothing except fog. I sense the classroom is full; figures mimic the blackened wood, the heads of smoking match’s; I am a match in a box of fire.
My name is called. The room is emptying, the fog knocking clumsily against the large never-ending windows. My form tutor walks to my desk in complete silence. As I recall, she was cold and unapproachable. As she hovers, ever closer, her icy atmosphere envelopes my personal space; hanging around me like poisoned oxygen.
‘What was her name again?’ ‘Bulchin, yes that right, Mrs Bulchin.’ Only a teacher would be called Mrs Bulchin! A name such as Bulchin could be appropriately used for the act of vomiting.
She speaks calmly with her Lancashire accent. Her voice grates my skin, decays my eardrums as so they rattle; slightly destroyed from their comfortable function.
“Nice to have your company again… Kevin. We wondered if we would ever see you again. There seems to be no account for your poor… recent… attendance.” Her last three words, so heavy, they fall and scatter; the consonants have grabbed my feet while the vowels have chained them to my school desk.
But I feel so disconnected to everything.
I’m barely able to reply, “I didn’t realise, now being thirty-five, that I needed an explanation!” My voice has played slow. The low decibels fail to carry happily through the fake, stagnant air.
Without blinking, without recognising that what she is saying to me is absurd, she stoops to my eye level and says, “You do realise you will be charged? The total you owe, currently stands at, ten thousand pounds!” She says monotonously, empty to the core.
“That’s not right, I shouldn’t be here now.” I’m passive, each word as equal as the next that follows it.
“You didn’t finish your exams Kevin…you will be charged.” Her words nail me to my alleged crime like I’m the newest brand of criminal. I’m desperate to escape, leave the flimsy set with a sharp retaliation of words than can cut me out the shape of an exit as hastily as a wrecking ball.
Then, I hear a voice barely audible from a gender unknown, within the room.
I can sense that I have stood up. But I’m not sure. Maybe I’m just looking down. There is some comfort injected into my heart before my visuals collapse about me like blurred shards from a metallic imagery montage.