Thursday 14 May 2009

Not exactly ... as long as it was - Chapter one

We parked near the front of the familiar redbrick school. Even from here I could see changes. The front of the school was now dominated by a decorative shield. At the top were three stars dangling from a cord and, underneath those, was an odd-looking lion standing up with teeth, tongue and front claws all visible.
“It looks more impressive than a tree, a book and a couple of moons,” I commented nervously, remembering the old school crest.
Dad smiled reassuringly, and put one hand on my shoulder, as we stepped into the carved, white, granite entrance. Everything looked so familiar, and yet subtly different too. We pressed the buzzer by the small window and waited. A grey-haired woman, with two biros stored through the bun on the back of her head, bustled in from the other office.
Dad was not distracted by her unusual hair accessories, “Good Morning. I’m Simon Trainer, and this is my daughter Jess. We have an appointment to see the Headteacher.”
She checked the Head’s diary, “Mr McIntyre is in his office. I’ll just let him know you’ve arrived. If you’d just push the button there, I will unlock the door and let you in.”
I pushed and then felt the door release. We walked into the brown, tiled corridor and sat side by side and looked through the glossy prospectus.
“Mr McIntyre will see you now,” called the assistant as she approached.
We followed the secretary just a little way into the room. I looked at the curving desk that ended with matching filing cabinets. Mr McIntyre was reaching into one of the lower desk drawers and he seemed to pause as he became aware of our presence. His head moved to the left and his face turned slightly up. I watched him draw a deep breath before turning to face us.

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