Casually, I stroll into the classroom and swipe my hair to one side. My ‘New York new era’ cap hides my sly grin and narrowed eyes.
“Brandon Roberts!” Mrs Collins, our form tutor, whips round to face me with her hands on her hips, lips firmly pressed together. “May I ask why you are so late to registration?” She glances at her wristwatch. “Forty five minutes! Registration ends in five minutes!” She glares at me expectantly.
“May you not ask?” I mutter under my breath.
“Excuse me?” Mrs Collins practically fumed. If this had been a comic, steam would be coming out of her ears and her eyes would be red. But, as far as I know, this is reality.
“Let me ask you again,” a soft, deadly, voice suddenly came out her mouth. “Would you kindly like to explain why you are late? Or do you want to join me after school for a little meeting that begins with d and rhymes with retention, for a little chat perhaps?”
I pretend to examine a nail. My stubby nails were much more interesting than listening to this teacher.
“Fine then, give me your planner–”
“I had a dentist’s appointment,” I lie. At this point I realise that the whole class is staring at me. Some with smug looks on their faces, some amused, some disappointed. Quickly looking away, I start to straighten some imaginary creases on my jacket.
“Took you a long time to get that out, didn’t it? Then I would like you to pass me a permission slip from your parents, which, I hope, you have?” I took a quick look at Mrs Collins, who had a slight smile on her face.
Luckily, I was prepared for this. I took out a piece of crumpled paper from the front of my bag and gave it to her nonchalantly, which, somehow, infuriated her.
On it, was my mum’s signature (they always need it for some reason!) and my scrawled handwriting. It took me ages to write it neatly, and in the end it looked nothing like mine, so I was lucky.
At first, I just took a piece of paper and told my mum to ‘randomly’ scribble her signature at the bottom. She looked suspicious, but I guess she was too lazy to question me. Then, I wrote the actual letter above it.
This was the letter:
Dear Mrs Collins,
My son, Brandon Esther Collins, needs to go to a dentist’s appointment this morning from 8:30 to 9:15, due to lots of fillings. So he will not be able to come to registration today.
Thank you for your co-operation.
Brenda Collins (Signature)
I may not be smart, but I can throw in a few surprises every now and then, I can even be prepared.
But, oh God, I certainly wasn’t prepared for what was going to happen next…
To be continued.