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angry tomatoCarmen

It was real fun in history today.  We had Miss Smith again – I’ve just moved into her class, and we usually have a good laugh.  Today was even better than usual – she’d had her hair cut and coloured, and a few comments really had her squirming.  We did the usual, of course – refused to stop talking, played on our phones, and someone had a spray that they used.  Georgie has asthma, so that was good for a few minutes’ entertainment.   Then I called out that she looked like a tomato, and she just lost it.  She was about to speak, and her mouth stayed open but with no sound.  Then she shut it again – I swear I heard the click of her teeth. She went a funny shade of red, and I sniggered: “Oh look, she’s even more like a tomato now, she’s gone bright red!”

At that Miss Smith walked straight to the door and I was expecting her to order us out, like she usually does, but she went out herself, and the door banged behind her. I suddenly realised I understood how Dad felt when he made Mum cry – the feeling of sheer power.  Me and my mates started howling with laughter, but Tamsin who was sitting next to me (that damn seating plan!) turned and glared at me.

Lucy got up and started parading around at the front desk.  “Look at me, I’m Miss Smith,” she boasted, trying to imitate her way of walking around the room.

Then the door opened again and in walked Mr Hopkins, the Head.

Instantly the class fell quiet.  Lucy sort of slunk back to her seat, and I sat back down again.  Mr Hopkins didn’t say anything at all; he just stood quietly looking at us.  Then he indicated me and Lucy and told us both to stand outside.

I started arguing with him, but I could see from the expression on his face that he just wasn’t buying it.  So Lucy and I went outside.  I started lounging against the wall, but Lucy looked as though she was about to start crying herself, the baby.  She just can’t take it – can’t stand being in trouble.  See, that’s the difference between us: I just don’t care.  I haven’t cared for a long time.  As Lucy caved in and started blubbing, I slid down against the wall until I was sitting down, my feet stretched out across the corridor and waited to see what would happen.


History used to be fun.  Miss Smith is new to the school, and very different from our old teacher.  She has a fun way of doing things, so that we learn without realising, but since Carmen got moved into our group it’s been horrible.  Carmen seems to have taken an instant dislike to her, and is constantly saying horrible things.  Lucy thought she was funny and started joining in, and before long loads of them were at it.  Miss Smith didn’t seem to have come across behaviour like that before; she would just keep asking them to be quiet and look more and more desperate, which of course made them worse.

Okay, maybe I laughed the first few times she was silly in class, but soon it just got to be boring, and I felt sorry for Miss Smith.  Then today Carmen was worse than ever.  I think when Miss Smith stormed out of class she was actually crying.  Everyone’s scared of Carmen, but still there were a few of us staring angrily at her and telling her she went too far.

Then Mr Hopkins came in, sent Carmen and Lucy out and spoke to the rest of us.  He explained how ashamed he was of us, and how he had hoped that we would not tolerate that sort of behaviour.  I sneaked a look around and most people were looking pretty ashamed themselves; a couple of girls who never said a word in class usually had started crying.

I think by the time he had finished talking to us everyone felt really bad.  We don’t know when Miss Smith will be coming back to our class – I heard someone whisper that she would never be coming back, but I hope she does – but I think people might be a little nicer to her, at least for a while.

As to Carmen and Lucy – they’re currently waiting for their parents to collect them.  I saw them sitting outside Mr Hopkin’s office.  Lucy had been crying.  Carmen – it was strange, but I could swear the look on her face was fear.


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