Nick paces the office, taking two minutes before he hits the send button. He catches sight of his reflection in the glass of a cheap clip frame that hangs on the wall. “Looking tired,” he says quietly to himself, gently shaking his head. “Looking old.” His eyes focus on the long service certificate behind the glass. One corner of the border is slightly smudged, but nobody bothered to reprint it. “Good enough for Nick,” someone thought. Maybe they didn’t even notice. “30 years. 30 years,” he whispers. 30 years, half of his life, given to this place. In through the nose. Count slowly to five. Out through the mouth…
Scene: we find ourselves in the nondescript office of Brunt Stickler, Head Teacher at Mokita High School. Stickler is tending to a virtual Zen garden on his tablet (the real desktop version made too much mess when he left a window open on a particularly windy day) by way of a distraction from the latest pile of management statistics on his otherwise empty desk. There is a knock on the door and in walks the slightly dishevelled Harry Juggler, Geography teacher at the school. Continue reading
We find ourselves in a school staff room at lunch time. Two teachers, Mrs Finch and Miss Hamer, are discussing the morning’s events.
On Saturday morning my old friend Trusty Goodguy phoned. We got chatting and Trusty was soon telling me about something that had unsettled him and left him struggling with a crisis of conscience.