Trevor and Miss Braybrook
Trevor was weasely, of course he was, he was sly looking and took furtive to a new level. He arrived mid-term carrying a back pack, a chip and bad temper layered on his shoulders. Suspended, excluded, disliked and unhappy he brought an air of gloom with him into the usually happy classroom where he threw himself onto an innocent wooden chair which immediately found itself tipped backwards onto two legs.
Miss Braybrook introduced Trevor to the class, she didn’t invite him to the front of the room to say hello as she would normally. “Class, the new young gentleman with us today is Trevor, he has joined us mid-term and so I am sure he will be grateful if we make an extra effort to make him welcome.” With that she started to mark the register with her blue pencil and Trevor started to mark the top of the desk with his pen knife.
For some moments the class held its united breath, fear and it has to be said quite a bit of subdued excitement suffused the air. This was new, a few of the boys were impressed and most of the girls were beautifully scandalised. Many a tummy fluttered and many an eye slid sideways towards this exotic new creature.
Miss Braybrook put down her pen. She folded her dimpled hands atop the register and sat simply watching as the blade traced its way through the “T” and the “r”, skittered a bit on the “e” and progressed inexorably to the “v”. By now eyes were tennis matching from the knife to the teacher, the teacher to the knife, bif, baf, bif, baf. A couple of the more nervous pupils nibbled finger ends and a few boys wondered if their hair would look like that if they could eschew the shower for a night or two. Still Miss Braybrook said nothing. Trevor carved as wood splinters spit into the air which was brittle with thrill.
“Excuse me Trevor.” Miss Braybrook’s voice was low and calm. Trevor’s ears were deaf, many innocent knuckles were white. Miss Braybrook pushed back her chair; she stepped around her table and slowly progressed towards the newly decorated desk. She stood silently watching, the penknife was chipping the centre out of a wobbly “o”.
“Please don’t do that Trevor.”
“Wha?” The skinny shoulder hutched as Trevor bent his grey face nearer to the tormented veneer. “Stop what you are doing Trevor.” With this Miss Braybrook placed her well moisturized palm over the hardened skin on the back of Trevor’s hand. It was as if she had laid down a sheen of lava, the boy catapulted backwards and the chair vaulted to the wall and bounced once before settling with legs aloft like a cow in a dumpster. Trevor was on his feet the knife was held in front of him the small blade winking as he moved it back and forth. Several of the girls had scurried to the front of the class, the boys were running through their recent viewing trying to remember a movie that would give them a clue about what to do next. Miss Braybrook merely stood looking down at this bundle of venom and vitriol. After some moments she gently bent towards him and very calmly wrapped her well covered Miss Braybrook arms around him.
I would love to tell you that he dissolved in tears against her ample shoulders sobbed his anger into her loving embrace and went on to become a doctor working with orphans in Africa. Unfortunately, the knife slashed once, blood flowed, children screamed. Trevor went into supervised care where he served a short apprenticeship graduating as an accomplished thug and sometime drug dealer and Miss Braybrook had a nervous breakdown before retiring to raise cats in Surrey, but she was always remembered as everyone’s favourite teacher, except of course for Trevor.