Miss Pick's Lesson by Sheena Billett

“Look out, here she comes.”

We snigger and shuffle our feet.

Miss Pick strides along the corridor with a determined look on her face, but we are not fooled. We know the fa├žade is only paper-thin.

We bide our time and walk demurely into the classroom, taking our seats in silence.

Miss Pick isn’t fooled either – she knows something is up.

Swallowing loudly, she tells us that we are going to be learning about tectonic plates, and we resist the urge to laugh and call out “prick” jokes.

The silence becomes oppressive and the tension builds as Miss Pick plunges on, through earthquakes and tsunamis.

Then at last Bella gives the signal, and all hell is let loose.

As one, we jump on our chairs, even on tables in the heat of the moment, and start shouting and screaming about an imaginary mouse.

Except things don’t go as planned.

The crash of Ben falling is lost in the chaos and only when Miss Pick hurtles herself forward do we realise that his unconscious body is on the floor.

“Move back!” There is a sudden authority in Miss Pick’s voice, and we instinctively obey, returning shame-faced to the floor.

“Go and get help. Tell Mrs Brown to call an ambulance… Now!” she shouts at an ashen-faced George who is nearest the door.

We watch, trance-like as Miss Pick efficiently checks for vital signs and, undoing Ben’s shirt, starts CPR. She mutters “Come on, Ben,” with each compression. Every so often she checks for a pulse.

Suddenly, Ben takes a breath, and she kneels back, breathing hard, holding his hand.

The trance is broken as the medics arrive and we are ushered out of the room.

That day, Miss Pick taught us a lesson we would never forget.

Selected: Weekly Write #14
Published in Issue #29

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