The gentleman (2/5)

By Drum Digital
24 March 2015

Angie was facing a big decision.

He had one of those impish faces you couldn’t help liking. He handed her a note. “The headmaster asked me to give you this.”

“Thank you,” she said. “Carry on with the speech, Joseph.” She squeezed the note into the palm of her hand. She would read it when the class was over. “. . . could together choose a government that would represent the interests of the majority of our people.”

She held up her hand for Joseph to stop.

“Struggled. What do you think that word means, Moses?”

“Worked hard for, Miss.”

“Yes, very good,” she said and smiled at him. “Now I want you to write this speech down in your exercise books.” She thought, “I’m also struggling to be free. Am I going to be free of him at last?” She was taking up a post of senior teacher at a school in Durban. A great deal of her time would be spent supervising the other teachers, checking up on truancy and doing admin work. Not for the first time, Angie wondered if she was cut out for it. After all, she’d trained to teach young children – not do admin. But the pay was much higher than she was getting at the moment and she’d be able to rent a flat. Surely that was the most important thing, to get away from Southend and Nelson?

“And now I want you to revise all the work we’ve covered so far on Mr Mandela. I’m going to give you a test on Friday.” There were a few moans of protest as the children began to leave the classroom.

“Goodbye, see you tomorrow. Now don’t forget you have an English test in the morning.”

“Oh, how could we?” one cheeky pupil said.

To be continued...

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