I’d never been good at waiting.

But his instructions were quite clear.

“Stand still, be quiet — and don’t turn around.”

So I just stare at the wall and listen to footsteps walking away. He
stops after 10 steps. Behind me, a hinge creaks. There’s some clattering
and some rustling. What is he doing?

There’s a hulking wooden cupboard at the back of the classroom. It’s
always kept locked, like some ancient reliquary. What exactly lies
within has been the subject of many speculative conversations among my
peers, but no student has ever looked inside. He must be looking for a
suitable implement to punish me with. What will it be, I wonder?

The suspense is building, my breathing quickening, but I dare not
turn around. That would be asking for trouble. Yet, my curiously is an
itch that must be scratched. Restraining my impulsiveness has always
been my weakness. Maybe just a peek, I’m sure he won’t even notice me. I
can’t even hear him, he must be still rummaging inside the cupboard. I
take a chance, quickly turning my head — only to see him looming over
me. His voice chastises my disobedience.

“I told you not to turn around”.

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