SHORT STORIES: Glimpses Of Grace

“I guess I’ll never get that fiver back but it doesn’t matter. I’ll consider it a parting gift. I barely knew her, and only leant it her because she was pretty, and I just crumble at a pretty smile. Knowing so little about her was the main reason I never asked for it back. I wonder what she spent it on.”

“Everyone seems to be making such a fuss about this, but I really don’t see why. Grace was just like any of us, uniform and average. Why should I care now just because she’s leaving? People leave this place all the time, but just because Grace is moving far away, rather than just to another college, we’re supposed to care.

I found the tears shed on her exit to be nothing but a display of self-importance. She won’t miss us. She’ll just find another group of drones to fit into, and it’ll be like nothing has changed. This afternoon has been simply farcical, and I am glad to be out of the gates. In a few days I doubt I will even remember who Grace is.”

“Oh, Amazing Grace! There’s a tear running right through my core where she ripped my heart out, and the pain increases with every step further away she walks. This time I promised myself I’d tell her. The last chance! I really thought that I’d be able to wrench the nerves from my shivering skin and tell her how I feel, but alas no! What a failure I am!

The moment where she waved goodbye runs endlessly on in my head. Her soft hand raised, her eyes careless and her hair perfectly dishevelled. Then she turns on one leg, and walks confidently away with her distinctly feminine elegance. Karl you timid bastard! You’ve really let yourself down this time! It felt like love! My walk home will now filled with the unbearable loneliness and dread of cowardice. Grace. Grace. Grace.”

“My impertinence without measure

I take no joy I take no pleasure

In swallowing what I want to say

And seeming untouched as you walk away

You were aid when I needed aid

But my gratitude not sufficiently displayed

Because all I do is saving face

It’s the only way to survive in this place

But in your wake I do regret

Not expressing quite how upset

Why do I remain so morose?

When weeks ago we were so close?

My feelings to paper I commit

But haven’t I the confidence to say it?

And as you set off across the seas

Perhaps you’ll hear my screamed apologies.”

“Today was my day! Scores and scores of days have passed, and I haven’t had my way, but my time begins now! Finally, FINALLY, the bitch has gone! Her psychological dismantling of me is over. The hair pulling, the vitriol, the gossip: It’s finished.

My vindication was completed by a farewell, drenched in sarcasm, and her eyes thinned as she turned her spiteful gaze away. The relief, the joy, all rush around in my head, and I feel quite dizzy as I walk home. From now, every day will surely be a better day.”

“I suppose it was a shame to see Grace Haddon go. I often used her to raise a class when they were limp. Picking on her meant guaranteed answers, but also some sort of bizarre aspiration from the other students. I can’t pretend to understand what it is to be young any more, but I can still notice things.

So she has left, but there are only two more terms to battle through before the summer, and I have no doubt that someone will fill her shoes. Siobhan perhaps, she’s brighter than she knows. I swing open the door, and smile faintly at the warm smell of what can only be defined as “pub carpet.””

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