Lyndon Farm Secondary School, 1998

It was Open Night, when parents, visitors or any old Tom Dick or Harry could wander around the school, question teachers, see examples of the pupil's work, voice any fears, complain or just have a weak coffee in a Styrofoam cup.

The classroom was virtually deserted when the man entered. There was a youngish woman sitting at the teacher's desk. She was marking books and didn't look up.

He went over to a desk near the door where several workbooks were scattered. Available to anyone who wanted to look. He sifted through them and opened one.

He read:


I had a dream a few weeks ago. Like most people I usually forget them. This one was different because I remember it so well.

I read somewhere that when you look into the night sky and see the stars you are looking back in time because their light takes so long to reach us. I don't really understand it but I think time travel sounds cool. Imagine if you travelled to the stars and had a telescope big enough to look back at the Earth. You would be able to see history!

In my dream I travelled to the stars. I don't know how but there was this man with me. A lot older than me he was. He was like a teacher.

I had a big telescope and looked back at the Earth, expecting to see history. Kings and Queens, great battles and all that.

Instead I saw me. I was about nineteen or twenty. I was selling clothes in a shop. I looked as miserable as sin.

I asked the man why I looked so fed up. He said I wasn't fulfilling my potential. I was an ignorant ape who knew nothing except telly and chips and make-up.

I said that if he was so clever he could tell me who had put the stars in the sky in the first place. He said he didn't know. I got angry with him because I thought he knew really but just wouldn't tell me.

We had a row and I walked off. As I went he shouted after me "Whatever you do, don't look into the light!"

I was in a right mood. I was sitting looking at the sky when this brilliant light suddenly appeared in front of me. I should have turned away, like the man said, but I didn't. I looked at the light. It got into my head. It was as if my brain had suddenly exploded.

For a glorious second I knew EVERYTHING. Why we are here, who put us here in the first place, how many grains of sand there are on Blackpool beach. The lot.

Of course, I can't remember the answers now but I know that for a single moment it was all there, in the palm of my hand.

Then somebody kissed me. The knowledge went. I woke up.

When I told Mum about it she only half-listened but she perked up when I told her about somebody kissing me. She told me not to worry. It was perfectly normal for girls my age to have dreams about kissing. In fact she said that she still did.

I know that nobody can know everything. Who would want to anyway? Where would the fun be in that?

Still, I felt great for that impossible second. Important. Instead of somebody destined to be a shop-girl.

I suppose I'll forget it over time but when the teacher asked us to write an essay on dreams I thought this would be a chance to save it.

My impossible dream.'

As he finished the essay there was a noise at his side and he turned to face the young teacher, whose face showed the signs of a long day.

"Bright kid?" he asked, holding up the workbook.

The woman read the name on the front of the book." Rose Tyler? Not so you'd notice. Middling. Are you a relative?"

The man shook his head. "Perhaps she needs a little encouragement." He produced a red pen from inside his long coat and, before she could stop him, he had scribbled something in the workbook.

"I don't think you should do that - "

He held up the book for her to see what he had written. At the bottom of her essay.


The man closed the book and placed it back on the desk.

"What's your name?" he asked.

"I'm Miss McGovern. Rose's form teacher."

"I asked your name."

She was flustered. "L-Lindsay."

"Well, Lindsay. I'm Jack Harkness. What say we go grab a bite to eat?"