He’s going to call on me. He’s going to call on me and I’ll probably puke. There are only twelve of us in this class - seven boys and five girls – so it won’t take too long before it’s my turn. I can picture Ian, the tutor, striding to my desk, his green eyes fixed on me. “Kiersten?” he’ll say. “You’re up. Let’s hear about you.” It’s so real, I almost stand up to present my work in progress.
Work in progress? I’ve made no progress on this so-called work. I have no idea how to start writing this. We were given the assignment - an autobiography – right before Christmas break and all month I’ve been putting it off. Now Ian’s expecting something. A draft perhaps, or at least a detailed outline. But I have nothing. Slumped in my seat, I look down at the scarred tabletop before me, letting my hair fall over my face like a veil. I squint through the curtain it makes, at the orange glow in the glare from the near-dead fluorescent tube that hums and buzzes above me, disrupting my chain of thought. I work knots out of my hair with my fingers as I struggle to think where to begin. I’ve been thinking about it a lot, and the more I think, the more certain I am my story began longer ago than I ever imagined.
I pray the class will end before Ian reaches me. I even pray for Alice Wilkins to be called on before me.