Author: DKMC PM
A teacher befriends a deaf/mute boy. Meanwhile, one of her students who is abused by his dad and bullied at school finds a confederate in an unlikely place. That wasn't the best of descriptions but I think you get the idea. Warning: Contains drug use, domestic violence, bullying, strong language and a few upsetting scenes. The first thing I've posted on this site so please review.Rated: Fiction T - English - Angst - Chapters: 14 - Words: 17,074 - Reviews: 15 - Favs: 2 - Follows: 5 - Updated: 08-11-12 - Published: 06-12-12 - Status: Complete - id: 3031602
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Twenty-five year old Karen McCain stood at the front of the class, reading aloud from "The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde." The students collectively burned a hole into her, absorbing her every move and hanging off her every word. Karen looked up to see the expressions of awe and amazement that the kids in her class now wore on their faces.
Karen knew exactly what they thought of her. They had logged her in their minds as the one who never raises her voice; who never needs to. She was the one who would treat her students like they were competent and capable; the one who would discuss the world-it's pros and cons- without spelling it out as one would with a child. She was the only teacher in the school who shared the students' hatred of Melissa Cooper - the school's snooty and self-centered guidance counsellor. It was even rumoured that when a student had blown his top and called her the C word, Karen McCain had acted not in hostility, but in concern for the boy. She had asked him what was wrong- if there was something else that was upsetting him and making him use such a word. The boy did, it was told, confess that he was having some sort of personal issue, but there were many ideas of what exactly the problem was.
It was well known that she had something of a short temper, but most students wanted to stay on her good side anyway, if only out of an enormous respect for her.
Karen surveyed the classroom once more, and gently placed the book from which she had been reading on her desk.
"So what exactly is Stevenson trying to convey in his first description of Hyde?" Karen didn't hear it herself, but she had been told on many an occasion since she moved to L.A that, to any American, her British accent made her sound naturally intelligent. She often wondered if she should walk into a supermarket one day and say something like "Is a loaf of bread a fruit or a vegetable?" just to see if anyone answered by telling her how clever and educated she must be to think to ask such a question.
Grace Mitchell, a simple red-headed girl who always stated the obvious but had an almost encyclopedic knowledge of the novels of Stephen King, raised her hand to answer Karen's question.
"He's trying to show that Mr. Hyde is evil." When Karen remained silent, Grace hastily added "The evil side of Dr. Jekyll?"
Karen accepted the answer, and asked the class why Stevenson did not give a physical description of Mr. Hyde, but rather described him using general terms, such as "wicked-looking."
Matt Carlisle raised his hand.
Karen took a great interest in Matt. He was competent; he almost never volunteered to answer her questions or input his opinion, but when called upon directly he never ceased to amaze Karen with the depth of his literary intelligence. He impressed her so much that she was able to turn a blind eye when he showed up to her class twenty minutes late and smelling of marijuana. Karen happened to know that smoking weed was a popular passtime at this particular school, and in her first few weeks of teaching there she adopted a policy of "whatever, it's their body."
Matt was a loner, but Karen had gathered that he enjoyed his solitude. She sometimes saw him eating his lunch alone out on the field that her office window overlooked, and for a moment she would wonder what exactly was going through his mind at that time. Her curiosity would end, though, when she heard the tut-tutting of Melissa Cooper, who liked to catch Karen off guard during lunch hour, in case there was anything going on that she could make a criticism about. Usually, there was.
"He gives the reader some space to build their own image of Mr. Hyde." Matt's voice always seemed shaky. He spoke with little confidence, but still gave an impression that he knew exactly what he was talking about. "The reader fills the gap with whatever they think "wicked-looking" looks like, and it makes the fear of Mr. Hyde unique to each person."
Karen paused for a moment, and smiled.
As she dismissed her class, she watched Matt Carlisle quickly leave the room, and disappear into a crowd of aimlessly wandering students out in the hallway.
Karen surveyed her now empty classroom, and her eyes fell on an extremely messy and disorganised cupboard in the far corner.
She thought, sarcastically: What would old Melissa Cooper think? And relished the idea that this cupboard alone could cause Melissa great anguish.