Double history on a Wednesday afternoon—total nightmare! A few minutes ago, I would have said I couldn’t imagine anything worse. But when there’s a knock at the door, and it opens, and I spot my mum outside, I realise—life can always get worse. When a parent turns up at school, unexpected, it means one of two things. Either somebody close to you has been seriously injured or died, or you’re in trouble. My immediate reaction—please don’t let anybody be dead! I think of Dad, Gret, uncles, aunts, cousins. It could be any of them. Alive and kicking this morning. Now stiff and cold, tongue sticking out, a slab of dead meat just waiting to be buried. I remember Gran’s funeral. The open coffin. Her shining flesh, having to kiss her forehead, the pain, the tears. Please don’t let anyone be dead! Please! Please! Please! Ple— Then I see Mum’s face, white with rage, and I know she’s here to punish, not comfort. I groan, roll my eyes and mutter under my breath, “Bring on the corpses!”
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