|Life’s Classroom, or The Raincoat
Author: planet p PM
AU; Debbie’s day at school.Rated: Fiction T - English - Debbie B. & Broots - Words: 774 - Published: 11-21-09 - Status: Complete - id: 5526272
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Life's Classroom, or The Raincoat by planet p
Disclaimer I don't own the Pretender or any of its characters.
There was some measure of comfort to be taken from that, from the stitching together of several pattern pieces into one amenable garment, in the way she'd never been able to glue together the shards of her life quite they way she wanted them to be, in the way her mother and father had divorced, and she'd been given into her father's custody, and, though her mother hadn't been the best mother, she still missed her, she missed having two parents instead of only one; a family instead of a pair of people who never really spoke openly unless it was on the movie they'd just watched over dinner in the lounge room, or which streets were not to be traversed during 31 October's Trick or Treat.
Textiles class at the local TAFE was dreary and most often cold – one week they'd be allowed into the Social Room, the next they'd be banned because another school whom had been attending at the same time had decided to leave it messy, and the students of her school hadn't seen it as their duty to pick up after ungrateful, lazy slobs – even when she'd found a spot undercover – the alcove inside the door to the classroom of her next class already taken by a group of loudly jeering, all-smoking teenage girls – and she sat hoping she'd not come down with something that night, or the next day, or in a week.
Inside, it wasn't exactly warm, but it was warmer, and she was able to rid herself of her school jumper for a few minutes and hang it over the back of her chair to air, though it would never dry that way, and she found herself wishing she'd brought along a raincoat, as silly as she'd look in it, she'd hopefully stave of a chest cold; if she'd had a raincoat, of course.
That week, she finished her Halloween costume, and sat back in her chair, pleased, though, after a moment, she scooted forward again to give her jumper its space to breathe.
On the bus on the way back to the high school, she zoned out the chatter of the other students and allowed herself to imagine trying her costume on for her father at home, or Miss Parker over at her house, or her best friend in a bathroom at the hospital where she worked. She was as proud as she ever remembered being before.
Being, as she was that year, a 16-year-old, she walked home from school at the ring of the last bell of the day – Thursday, newsletter day; she picked one up at the front office on the way out – and sat down in front of the heater at home in the lounge room to warm up and thumb through the newsletter and pick out spelling and grammar mistakes and mark them down in a tally in a notebook she'd invested for especially the task.
Her essay had gotten nine and a half out of ten, which, she supposed, was to be considered an excellent mark, though she was still too cold to smile. After she'd warmed up a bit, she decided that she'd practice her smiling, but she hadn't really liked the topic at all, or the angle that the teacher had expected her to take in order to garner the mark she had, but she wanted to be a doctor, and it was, she imagined, to be merely one concession of many to the effort. It often broke her heart, quietly, when she lay upstairs in her bed in her bedroom, trying, but failing, to sleep.
Such heartbreaks would come with more regular frequency now that she was growing older, she knew, and she'd have to stave them off or cry them out, but she'd have to endure them. It was an awful thing for someone to realise, or to have to suffer through, but a necessary hurdle, a necessary fall. To her mind, it made her anything but a good person, it made her less of a person for her deceptions, but she would be a doctor some day, and she'd be helping so many people then, she'd be doing so much good.
Her father returned late home from work with hot takeaway and a raincoat for her.
She beamed. (By that time, the room was comfortably warm.)