I remember hiding in the toilets at school. I’d enter a cubicle and wait…wait until all the corridor sounds ceased. The voices of boys and girls, footsteps shuffling, giggles, happiness…moving through the shady cement tunnels of ‘D’ block.
I remember the fourteen year old girl in a dark green checked uniform. Her long blonde hair – her saving grace -falling down her back. The fringe broken in half and fanned back into the fashionable flick style of the seventies. Hair sprayed to within an inch of its life. When the wind blew, her flicks would flap up and down – unmoved and unruffled. Flapping like a young birds wings, trying to take flight – battling the elements.
Standing stock still within her hideaway – frozen in fear of being caught. Minutes on end. Forty minutes. Occasionally emerging from her refuge to look in the mirror, brush her hair, stare at the reflection. Not thinking much at all – just staring and listening for the footsteps of an oncoming threat. The bell would sound for the next period – another forty minutes of waiting. Anything but face that awful maths class. Long past catching up – the algebra was a foreign language which held no interest at all. And the boys who sat behind were cruel with their audible whispers.