The English Teacher


We stood in the library. We were not naked but we might as well have been. We were waiting for the teacher to arrive. She arrived late, only a few minutes before the bell rang, saying that there was an emergency of some kind. None of us complained to the principal. I loved her classes when she came. She was a mediocre teacher and though she was a little boring, she could also appear fresh and ready to teach. Our school was so large that no one ever found out that she often used to miss most of the lesson.

I am a big boy, I used to think to myself, but when I grew older I realized that there were many boys and girls bigger than me. When I become an adult, I used to think to myself, I would become a very average, mediocre writer, writing stories whose endings are well known before they happen, and I will be very content with my life, finding readers who like average stories, readers who like to feel average and mediocre about themselves. This feeling gives many, including me, much strength.

In the evenings I like to go for long walks around the school football field, while my friend runs around the track. I walk calmly, watching the sunset. I am fat and love to eat, especially sweets.

When I was younger I used to take pride in my round shape. I used to take pride in the fact that it took me longer to get in a boat when we went to the lake. I used to even dress like an older fat man, wearing navy blue and grey cardigans on a rainy, slightly cold day. Today I am ashamed of the fat on my stomach. I want to be like my friend, but I am much too lazy and useless to get on a diet and begin exercising. I am clearly a big boy, almost a child with a body of a grown-up fat man.

I fell in love with my English teacher in my last year of school. She liked to drink coffee at breakfast. I poured myself a cup, knowing that coffee unnecessarily stimulates my nerves and went and sat with her. She told me that I would one day be an average, mediocre writer. I told her it didn’t matter to anyone what sort of writer I would be. I just needed to be a good person. She was surprised at my simplicity and took me home. I didn’t know what to do with my English teacher. She read me a story and I went to sleep.

The next day we went to school together. There was a group of people gathered around the principal’s office, playing football. It looked silly, and we all laughed. A few minutes later, the principal, himself, came out in shorts and T-shirt.

Later, I walked out of my dorm room and found a group of people running towards me. They looked like monkeys and I got scared. They ran past me. It was only when I reached the main school block did I understand why they looked like monkeys. The school building had burnt down. The English teacher had gone missing.

A few days later I graduated from school. We smoked cigars at the graduation ceremony. I soon left town, forgetting the school and my friend. The only image I had in my mind, when my parents picked me up from the airport and asked how the graduation ceremony had been, was of my English teacher bathing in the sun on the terrace of her impoverished house.  

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