“Pull yourself together Elena,” I said to myself, crossing my arms over my chest. To Mick I said, “Yeah, right um . . . ” I waited a few seconds as it I was trying to remember his name. He didn’t need to know that I remembered only too well, and that his words and those of his mates had stayed in my head, surfacing to torment me on my worst days. “Mick yeah? How are you?”
“Oh yeah, I’m keeping well,” he said. “What are you doing with yourself these days?”
I didn’t want to tell him I was a writer. I didn’t want to have that battle again, especially with him. So of course the words “I’m a writer” came tumbling out of my mouth.
“How about you?” I added hastily, hoping to steer the conversation back to him.
I needn’t have worried. His only interest in me had ever been in teasing me and making me look small. He wasn’t interested in anything I was doing. that, at least was a relief.
“I’m the Principal of Craneswood School,” he boasted. “Yeah, been there nearly eight years now. Got promoted two years ago. It’s going well.”
I was almost speechless. How did a kid like that, not very bright and a complete arsehole to boot, become principal of any school, let alone a well-respected school like Craneswood?
“Oh. Well, congratulations then,” I replied, feeling sorry for the kids at that school who were slightly different or stood out for something that wasn’t their fault like I had.