A girl named Clarissa was buddied up to me, to
show me around the school and make sure I could
find all the classrooms. She was a gawky thing,
almost goth, bubbling over with energy, and not
one bit surly. She made me feel welcome, and
stuck to me like a limpet. Classes were mostly dry
affairs, but the teachers were consistently normal,
without a hint of eccentricity. Maths made me feel
stupid. I didn’t understand a single fraction or
formula. At break time I expected to be dumped
and wander the playground like a leper. This didn’t
happen. I was drawn into Clarissa’s circle of
friends. It seemed like school could really be a
pleasure, not some sort of adolescent torture like
before. I might even be happy.


Author: Robert James Berry

Poet & Novelist