Reading Aloud

8:00, her head is down, as if she has just committed a crime. She stared at her book imprinted with supposedly familiar words which she has forgotten how to pronounce. Her tongue is unable to wrap itself around the patterns that she was taught to decipher. Everything seem to be some sort of an ancient coding, as she is stuck in a trance of illiteracy. Although she is looking down, she knows that all the eyes are on her. The heavy looks directed onto this poor girl is going to cause her a panic attack.

8:01, the classroom is quiet. No one made a single noise. She felt trapped in the silence, the claustrophobia kicking in. Heart thumping and cold sweats forming. She tried to open her mouth, she failed. Her ears twitched, as if hearing something. Nothing. The only thing she hears is her heartbeat, it seems that her internals have took over her senses that were designed for external uses. “Why was I called? Why was I called? Let me sit, just let me sit back down. I don’t want to do this.”

8:02, “Clarice?” The teacher prompted. The teacher has prompted. The teacher has waited, and she has waited enough.  Clarice glanced up and let her head fall back down, unable to hold it up. Her eyes rests back down to the codes that still does not ring a bell to her. She blinked, as if by doing so her thoughts will clear. She grits her teeth, as tears start to welled up to the brink of her eyes. Everyone is still watching, but no longer are they in silence, some are whispering to their friends, and some are snickering. She swallowed her saliva, hoping to calm herself down. She felt like prisoner placed on trial with no defenses, and the whole world conspiring against her, thinking she has done something wrong and blaming her for a crime that she does not even know.

8:03, the teacher sighed, “it’s fine, Angus! You read instead.”


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