There was a time, a pivotal time. She can no longer recall how it came to be. Did she feel the momentum? She felt the moment.
The moment was marked. It was signified. A decision to step away, step back, step beyond an identity she had. It is now no longer possible for her to remember where the identity came from – she may have created it, it may have been given to her – anyway she couldn’t help but be it. She still has it, wears it in public.
But today, in this moment, she is going to betray it. She is going to respond to something else, something alien, a different space, a different possibility of being.
She steps back from the noise, the shrieks, the movement, the colour into the silent, shaded tile-dark Gothic corridor and begins to walk – step by step, echo by echo – until she reaches the large wooden door.
She stops for a second to reconcile her difference. From here there is no other way forward, only back.
She knocks. A discernible silencing of the mannered murmur behind the door. A long pause, hollow in the doomy corridor….
The door opens; a teacher’s face appears; a teacher’s gaze appraises her.
“Can I speak to Mrs. Higson?” She can’t resist the edge of defiance in her voice, though she can hear it.
The door closes. Time passes. The door opens. Mrs. Higson – transgressed by possession of a steaming mug, a half-eaten biscuit and a crumb on her cheek – regarding her silently, quizzically, commandingly.
“I wrote a poem for the school magazine”, she says.
Mrs. Higson’s eyes widen, but she holds her face together – just. Wordlessly she holds out her hand, takes the paper, acknowledges it, nods, closes the door.
She’s done it.
She stands for longer than she should, breathing – long enough to hear the surprise crescendo behind the door.
She moves away.
The space closes behind her, its residue in print, on a page, in a school magazine from 1977 that she keeps in a box somewhere, in a room, behind a door.
©Kyra Pollitt 2015