Pat and her exam.
Pat had chosen to copy a few words during the Spanish exam. A week later she was shaking as the teacher handed the results one by one. The teacher made comments whenever the student locked hands with her through the paper. Well done. Nice try, but try harder next time. What are we going to make out of you, Johnny? You sure don’t want to skip a course, Violet? You’ll be doing great things in life and I just feel you’re wasting it… but she let that last sentence fly behind Violet’s back as she had already picked the paper and had started to walk towards her table, turning the teacher her back. Pat shook harder because her surname was right after Violet’s. But the teacher said Tom. Then Andrea. Then Andrew. And so on. Until everyone already had their fucking piece of paper. Pat was relieved and yet she felt she had to say something about this. And yet did not dare. The sun crept through the blinds in the exact piece of floor that indicated it was already four o’clock. The last class was history and she was looking forward to it because she enjoyed all kinds of stories. But the teacher raised a paper and it was all red. Wait. There’s one more left. Everyone looked confused and Pat lowered her face as if she wanted to be swallowed by the gown they all had to wear–everyone stated to hate it but secretly loving it. Pat, come here. She went as if she were lame—one foot dragged behind as if wanting to stay. When she finally reached there, the teacher said to her directly, without asking You copied. Nothing happened if you looked this scene from the outside. Everything seemed calm and quiet. Rather brave, some children whispered in their ears. The bell rang across the wall, shaking the glasses and Pat’s feelings. Everyone got up without control freed from an invisible storm. Nobody made sense in Pat’s world as she walked towards the bathroom at the end of the corridor—all her feelings stirred up as she tried to throw up.
ps. Paintings on Books by Ekaterina Panikanova.