Incessant Chatter

“Silent!”  the teacher, breaking from the lesson she had been delivering, turned towards me.

I cringed, slinking down in my chair, choking on my ‘sorry’.  My classmate shifted  quickly, happy to have missed the wrath, but as soon as the teacher turned her back, she leaned in again to resume our conversation.

“That’s it!  Miss Hayes, approach the board!”

What?  I wondered.  She wants me to walk up to the front of the class?  I’d been in trouble for talking many times, but never with this result.

“Face the board,” she commanded, her round cheeks now aflame.  “Right up against the ledge.  Now, put your chin on the board.”

I couldn’t believe what she was asking.  It seemed so ludicrous.  I looked at her dubiously.  Mrs McLeod was strict, but never like this.

“Do what I say,”  she commanded sternly.

th-2So I leaned into the blackboard and put my eight-year-old chin against the black slate, and …stifled a giggle.  Stifling a giggle never works, of course, and soon I was out of control, and my classmates were laughing with me.  Pandemonium broke out.

An arm spun me around and a finger pointed to the door.  “Get out!”

Now this drill, I knew.  Stand outside and wait for the Principal to come.

I’d never learn to be silent.

(Memory inspired by The Daily Posts’ prompt:  silent)

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Permission to write, paint, and imagine are the gifts I gave myself when chronic illness hit - a fair exchange: being for doing. Relevance is an attitude. Humour essential.

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