e is part 2 of a story I added yesterday:
The door suddenly opened and in came Miss Atwood. Everyone automatically stood up, that was what we were trained to do, stand up when a senior teacher came into the class, and dear old Miss Atwood was the most senior as she was the headmistress.
“Good afternoon, be seated, class,” she said in her funny wobbly voice. “Livia, and why are you at the front of the class?”
My head had stopped ringing, Goodrich had delivered a mighty slap and I tried to think of something to say, my mind a jumble.
Goodrich was very pale now, her anger drained away, and she looked sort of scared. Afterwards I realised she was scared, if I’d turned round and told old Miss Atwood she had slapped me…
“Oh my goodness, that’s wonderful!” exclaimed the head mistress before anyone had a chance to say anything. I noticed both Pansy and Tommo were on their feet. “That really is extraordinary and quite, quite wonderful!” and she advanced on the tailor’s dummy decked out in odd bits of clothing from the costume box in the drama studio, i.e. the back of the stage.
“You’ve got me to a T! Is this for creative writing?”
The whole class were goggling, perplexed and then Miss Atwood stood beside it and faced us, smiling happily and suddenly we all saw it and suddenly people began to smile, and then someone began to laugh, Turps probably and then we were all laughing, even me though my face ached like anything.
Miss Atwood with her black wig, sitting on top of her head like a crow’s nest, and her string of pearls, and her long dress and gown, looked bizarrely almost like Mrs Goodrich. Goodrich had her naturally black hair in a bun on top of her head, she had a long string of arty beads, she wore long clothes which she thought were ultra fashionable and trendy, and all teachers wore their black gowns.
Normally you’d never think the two women were alike, one was frail and sweet and floated along the corridors greeting ‘her girls’ by name and asking after their mothers and aunties who had all been at school when she was first a teacher here. The other was big and bulky and with a smarmy smile for her pets, and a nasty, mean and cruel streak for those she didn’t like.
“And who is responsible? This is absolutely charming, and so imaginative!”
“I am Miss Atwood,” I said and my voice trembled. I tried to keep the unslapped side of my face towards her, I knew my other cheek was burning. “Pansy helped me, it was her idea, she’s the creative one.”
Miss Atwood congratulated me and Pansy once more and told me I could sit down, thanked Mrs Goodrich, and then glided out.
The classroom was in silence.
“Take out your books,” said Goodrich in an almost normal voice. Nobody moved. “Take out your books.”
Eventually Goodrich sat down behind her desk and we sat there staring at her, just staring, until, without a word, she got up and left the classroom. No-one cheered, no-one laughed.
“Are you alright, Livia? Are you alright, Pansy?” Tommo asked, and then we began talking quietly among ourselves.