#FOWC. Hunter

HUNTER- that was her last name now. I can’t even remember her former name, before she was married, in those days when she ridiculed and bullied me and made me feel embarrassed at my stupidity, and small. Yes, I felt hunted. So it seemed quite appropriate that she should now be called Hunter.

It’s strange how things happen. There was this group of girls who always used to be waiting for the bus to go to school in a morning. They were at the “big school,” the green school as it was known, taking its name from the colour of its uniform. I wore purple. A purple coat, for I was not yet at the green school, though I hoped to be one day. They never spoke to me, though they knew I was there. A year older than me, they were.

Then, one day, I was at the bus stop, and had changed colour. I was green too. It was my first day at the big school. For the first time the girls spoke to me. They welcomed me into their circle. But there was something about one of them that made me feel on edge. Outwardly she seemed nice enough, but I could sense something underneath that was not quite nice. I feared her.

Indeed, I was right to do so. She began to tease me relentlessly, play jokes on me, make statements that had two meanings, and I never knew which one was correct. This put me off balance, making it easy for her to then ridicule me.

Thing was, she went to church. Appeared good. I went too, invited by the other girls to the Youth Club. They seemed so friendly. Apart from that one, that is. The Hunter. Though even she was able to put on a bit of a show. No one would have known what she was doing to me. Not really. Only I knew what she was doing and getting at when she disarmed me with her talk.

One day the Hunter told me to go to the Staff Room and get a staff. I didn’t know what the hell she was talking about. I didn’t “get” jokes very well, my family never using jokes at all. We were quite a sombre family actually. Everything was deadly serious. So when she told me to go to the Staff Room to get a staff, I really thought she meant for me to go to the staff room and get a staff – one such as my grandad had on the farm. The one he carried everywhere and leaned on all the time.

So, there I was at the Staff Room door , only to find a message on the door saying that we should only knock on the Staff Room doir in case of “dire ear necessity.” It had originally said “dire necessity” but some goon had inserted the word “ear”.

I was flummoxed. How could I get a staff when I could not knock at the door because I did not have dire ear?

I stood for a moment, then left, staffless. When I got on the bus to go home, there she was, the Hunter, smirking at me.

Strangely, my grandfather is dead now, and I have his staff in my bedroom. And no Hunter woman to rib and tease me.

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