Friday 25 February, 2011:
I arrange to meet Noa to sort out his timetable woes once and for all. When I go collect him from the Learning Centre: “Oh Miss, can you take me too?” begs Riley. So I sign them both out – and we go down to my room.
First I show Noa an email I’ve just received. His new Math teacher wants support – apparently Noa is ‘disrupting others and being a general pain.’ The H.O.D (Math) has passed the email on to me, to see if I could have a word with the general pain.
“Am I a general pain?” asks Noa, in an impressed way.
“Well, obviously you are,” I tell him, unable not to laugh at his expression of grandeur. “What are you doing in Math?”
“Well, Riley’s more of a pain than I am…” begins Noa.
“No – you’re the one who goes in and out all the time bro,” retorts Riley.
“Yeah, but you talk more than I do,” Noa insists.
“Well, I dunno, maybe someone’s gonna email me about Riley as well – but right now we’re talking about you, Noa. And she says you’re being a general pain.” I sigh, adding, “So, are you going in and out, and out and in – and causing chaos?”
“We-ell, I get hot in there – and uncomfortable,” Noa admits.
“So take a drink in with you.”
Noa mutters something about his Math teacher, and Riley nods in agreement.
“She’s new – give her a chance,” I tell them. Cos unless you stop being a nuisance Noa, you’ll have to change out of Math.”
“But Math is alright, I like Math – well, kind of,” protests Noa.
“Then start being good – alright?” I look at his reproachful face, and start laughing. “Be a good boy.”
After the Math situation has been resolved, at least for the time being, Noa’s other timetable issues are examined in turn. We try to sort things out, but it takes ages – I have to look at all the possible combinations of subjects that might fit the spaces where 12 Tourism and 12 Geography currently annoy Noa’s sense of decorum. We eventually settle on 12 Early Childhood Education (highly relevant now, given the circumstances) and 12 Automotive. The change of course forms are despatched to Marjorie – and we’ll see what happens on Monday.
And then we just sit around for a while, talking. Riley languishes on the beanbag, which she has placed on top of a table. Noa perches by the fan, making flying motions with his arms like a solid Superman. Inia comes in and out (from his class next door), and I play a little music through the speakers. I’m glad to have them there, on this long summer afternoon; when last night I had felt so alone.
After school, I get a text from Tau, asking if I can call him.
He picks up immediately. “Hey Miss,” he says. “How you been?”
“Been ok,” I say. “How you been?”
“Um, good… “ Tau replies. “But Miss?”
“Um, I’m gonna do… a course…” he says, haltingly.
“You’re gonna do a course?” I reply, in some mystification. “Well, that’s good… what kind of course?”
“Well,” he says, kind of shy. “I don’t mean, I mean…” He begins again: “I mean… I want to do a course, I want… to find a course. I… I’m ready to go on a course. I think I am, Miss.”
“Oh!” I say, getting it. “Oh, Tau – I get you now!”
He grins, I can hear him chuckle.
“Well, that’s really good,” I say. “What kind of courses would you like me to find out about?”
“Maybe a building course?” says Tau, tentatively. “Or a mechanic’s course?”
“Yeah… that’s cool, man,” I say. And we agree I’ll be back in touch about it next week.
Saturday 26 February:
I sort out some boxes, and then things look a bit better. But there are still plenty more stacked up in the hallway. I’ll try do one at a time, all weekend.
When I scratch the surface of my feelings of being alone right now, this is what I uncover. A reason for being here – and it’s locked right into my cells. I think I knew this a long time ago. I had to come here and I don’t know what’s gonna happen… but oh, I don’t believe I was taken through for no reason, or to be alone.
All the doors are open, and the air’s blowing through.
And I wait for the cards to fall.