Читать онлайн «The Classroom: A gripping and terrifying thriller which asks who you can trust in 2018»
Andy makes to leave, and Becky quickens her pace to follow him.
‘Hey,’ she says.
But before he can reply, the teacher calls her back.
‘Becky, can I have a moment?’
Reluctantly, Becky holds back. She sees Caitlin and Andy exchange a meaningful glance. Becky doesn’t know the meaning, but Andy looks sad.
Becky stands in front of the teacher, arms folded round her music.
‘Becky, are you OK with being on this course?’ the teacher asks her. ‘I don’t want anyone to feel like they’re being tortured.’
‘Come on, I mean it. I’ll give you a part in the show because, well, everyone’s paid up and it’s meant to be fun. But I don’t want it to stress you out.’
Becky debates whether to have the long conversation or the short one. She wants to follow Andy, find out where the connection went overnight. She’ll go for the short one.
‘I’m fine, honestly,’ she says. ‘See you later.’
‘OK, if you’re sure. Take care of yourself, OK?’
The teacher gives her the briefest of touches on the shoulder. She’s surprised it makes her spine tingle. Suddenly, she wishes she’d gone for the longer conversation. But it’s too late. Already, she’s headed towards the door, Andy in her sights.
Chapter 13 (#ulink_2567e75f-af45-5a60-a649-eb0f3aa68c2e)
KIRSTEN, SEPTEMBER 2018
Perhaps Ian thinks she’s not watching him, as he gets out of the car. Look at him, he goes so slowly, like he can’t bear getting a moment closer to helping his family. She puffs her cheeks out. Maybe that’s unfair. The inspection is exhausting and stressful; she gets that. But Kirsten left him a voice message earlier, so he knows the deal. He didn’t reply. Didn’t even text to say he was coming home.
He’s reaching the kerb when Yvette appears. Kirsten watches him hesitate, probably wonder how he can get away, but he’s not quick enough. Yvette trots down the steps of her house. Is she interfering again? Sure, Kirsten’s super grateful for the occasional help with school drop-offs but that doesn’t buy Yvette the right to invade their family time.
‘Mummy, can we read this one?’
Kirsten looks over her shoulder to see Harriet holding up a picture book, one of Kirsten’s favourites.
‘In a minute, sweetheart.’
She looks out of the window again, to Ian and Yvette. They look very serious. Yvette is leaning in close to Ian. Ian isn’t leaning away. Kirsten would have loved to dissect the whole situation with Clare, like they used to, if she hadn’t had to keep her distance.
‘Please, Mummy, I want to read it now.’
Reluctantly, Kirsten tears her eyes away from the scene outside. Then she chides herself for her reluctance. No wonder her child has ‘behavioural’ issues, if Mummy would rather stare out the window at her interfering neighbour than read a book.
‘Of course, sweetie,’ Kirsten says, immediately over-bright. ‘We’ll read it on the sofa, shall we?’
She sits down on the sofa and gives Harriet one hundred per cent of her attention. Well, ninety-seven per cent anyway – the other three per cent of her brain is wondering when Ian will finally come through the door.
There’s the usual fumbling as the key turns in the lock.
‘Hi honey, I’m home,’ Ian shouts.
Kirsten considers not replying, just continuing to focus (now eighty per cent) on the picture book. But Harriet’s attention has shifted too.
‘We’re in here,’ calls Kirsten.
Ian comes in, gives Kirsten a quick peck on the lips, kneels down in front of Harriet.
‘Your mummy tells me you had a tricky day,’ he says to Harriet.
‘You got my voice message, then,’ Kirsten says, the criticism for a lack of response only just beneath the surface.
Meanwhile, Harriet shrugs.
‘You were a little bit naughty, though, I hear?’ Ian perseveres.
‘Maybe Yvette can solve it. How is the domestic goddess today?’ Kirsten can’t resist.
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