As a child I would sit still and quiet. In a room of adults I could disappear. They would talk around me and forget. Preferably there would be a chair that would stop them from seeing me. They’d forget and I would hear. The whispers and secrets I collected. I never used them I just collected them. It’s a bit like people who collect shells, you could hold them up to your ear and hear the sea, well with my secrets I could hold them to my ear and listen to the whispers. Some scared me, some made me laugh and some I cried over.
You’d have thought that the only place I couldn’t do it was in school. How do you get teachers to forget about you? Except you can. One lunch time I stayed in the art room. I’d like to say I was conscientious and hardworking, and I suppose I was, but it was because of necessity. I was bullied, and every lunch time was pure hell. I would hide where ever I could and on the Wednesday it happened to be the art room.
The art room was a huge long room. It had been broken into three by tables and a massive bookcase. I was at the far room, furthest from the door, and reading on the other side of the bookcase.
To this day I don’t know why they picked the art room, but in wandered a gaggle of teachers. I heard the art, biology, chemistry, maths and english teacher. They started talking about students and I kind of listened. Especially as they were talking about my year. Then my name came up.
“What about Kate?” Art said.
Biology sighed. Maths rolled her eyes and Chemistry refused to look at anyone.
“She tries,” English said.
“She does,” Chemistry said.
“But,” Biology said, “she wants to be a vet.”
And I did.
“Is she good enough?” Art asked.
“No,” Biology said.
“But she can draw,” said Chemistry.
They all agreed.
Behind the bookcase I sat and cried. My childhood dream was crumbled at my feet and for the life of me I had no idea how to put it back together. I sat there until the teachers had left. Then I got up and walked out of the room, out of the school. It’s the only day I was ever a truant. No one caught me. No one stopped me. I went home. I did the housework and I made a plan. If I couldn’t be a vet then I would draw the animals I loved until I worked out what I wanted to do with my life. At the time I didn’t know it would take fourteen years to find. But I did.
Now I write.
This post was inspired by the daily prompt – futures past.