“Nightmares are not your business” said Jerome. “Leave that to us”
Miss Tracy was not at all endeared by his tone. She felt he was mocking her, loving her only for private gain, and not even his own. These days it was all about “us”.
“You’re just one man!” she cried, “Why do you believe you can do all these things at once? The work of ten men a day done by one man in an hour? It’s crazy!”
He shrugged. “That’s what gets results” he said, plainly, the corners of his mouth starting to turn upwards into a wry grin. “Now, tell me about this dream of yours”
Miss Tracy sighed. This was going to be a long morning. The rest of the children were starting to look anxious, as if they would actually prefer to be discussing their maths homework. Little freaks. One day she’d show em…
“I don’t remember how it started, I never do, but I have a very clear image, a recollection, that right at the end you were dying while I was paralysed, as if tied down by a thousand wires. Cobras featured heavily somewhere in the middle, I don’t think they were anything to do with you dying though. They weren’t bad cobras, you understand, they were talking to us, trying to help us at some point”
“Help us do what, Miss Tracy?” said Jerome, his voice taking on urgency…”What were we trying to do?”
“I…. I don’t remember… there were curtains… yes, red… red and yellow curtains. I felt like I would throw up, like I was in McDonalds or something”
Gasps from the patiently waiting children. To them, McDonalds was not something to joke about, or even dream about. Such dreams would only bring disappointment in the mornings, when parents would inevitably refuse to dine there for breakfast, resorting to mind games and riddles such as “you’ve already had your porridge, remember?” as if that meant a damn.
“One time I actually convinced my parents to take me there before school” one of the children had boasted one lunchtime in a thick Guajarati accent. Being a white supremacist, Miss Tracy had never even bothered to learn his name.
“I just told them that it was what Jerome’s parents would have done” the brown child had concluded, with a wink.
This revelation had prompted a flurry of phone calls to Miss Tracy, the Head Master, and Jerome’s parents themselves (who, of course were no-where to be found) from irate parents sick of their children’s constant attempts to belittle their parenting skills by comparison with these fictitious (and in any case reckless) parents of cool-boy “Jerome”, a child the school claimed to have no record of at all.
The whole thing had nearly brought their love affair right out into the open.
“Feelings of fast-food nausea coupled with friendly snakes and perilous endings for the love of your life, if I may say so myself. It’s a clear signal from the boss”
She cursed his arrogance, inwardly, but knew that after all, it was true. She loved him, or them, more than she had ever loved anything more than she could even imagine loving anything, even her parents, race traitors that they were.
She thanked him, again inwardly, for at least speaking in the first person this time. Sometimes she felt he was rubbing her face in the fact that he could exist as several entities whilst she could only perceive him as this small child whose name did not appear on the register.
“The boss?” she said, wanting to say a lot more but conscious of the sixty tiny eyes looking up at her.
“Yes, it’s time” said Jerome, and walked out of the room.
“Fuck!” She said, knowing what was about to happen, in both the short and medium term, neither of which was good.
“Miss, can we go out too?”
“Can we say fuck, miss?”
“When are we going to start learning some maths?”
What a scene. These were some of the biggest squares she had ever laid eyes on. All they cared about was either studying pathetically easy exercises from these twenty-year-old books, or “playing” outside on a tiny piece of concrete with a few faded pictures painted on it. And Jerome, but she could at least relate to that. He was awesome.
“No you cannot go out and no you cannot say Fuck. You can go out when it’s ten thirty and you can say fuck when you’ve passed your GCSEs, in fact I recommend it. We will, however, be learning some maths, well, I say we, I learned this shit thirty years ago, probably from the same textbook, due to this greedy, Jewish government and their permanent fucking budget cuts caused by artificial crises. Now, somebody volunteer to recite their nine times tables. Somebody white”