Blowing Off Steam — short story by @sarahgracelogan


Blowing Off Steam

Written by Grace Logan

Twitter: @sarahgracelogan

"It’s always a bloody performance," he shouts, stomping around the room. "If it’s not one thing it’s another! Oh I’ve left my tampons at home, oh the dog ate my homework again—"

I tune out the words and watch him prancing about. It’s hard not to crack up, but I distract myself with thoughts of a more sinful nature.

"God knows what the Ofsted inspector must’ve thought," Sutter shouts, gesturing wildly at the ceiling. "I begged them not to put him in this class, but do they listen to me? Another genius fucking plan from this crackpot school!"

Sutter’s really getting into it now, and I lean forward with my chin in my hands to watch. I’m half listening, but the plan to stop myself laughing has worked too well. My mind is back on familiar ground; delicious, disgusting filthy ground. Jennie teases me but it’s just Sutter in those knitted jumpers, I can’t help myself. It just does something to me.

It’s my turn now, and I try to pay attention as Sutter comes over and starts laying into me again. "I mean, you’re a smart girl, Annabel, you should be looking at Oxbridge. I can’t understand this constant messing around, backchat, getting yourself in detention—" He throws his hands up—I can’t believe people really do that. "Detention! I haven’t put a sixth-former in detention for years!"

Sutter takes a deep breath and sighs like he’s got the weight of the universe on his shoulders. Seriously, teaching can’t be that bad. He’s obviously blown off most of the steam now, because he comes to perch on the desk opposite, looking down at me with those big, soulful eyes. I glance at the puppies on his jumper and I get a tingle downstairs.

He folds his hands over his knee and I stare at them, wondering what it would be like, what if—

"What do I have to do, Annabel, to make you behave?"