"Any questions? Come on, everyone. Remember, NQNL No Questions, No Learning! Ask me what you like."
Knackered silence. We're all trying to make the meeting end quickly and make the deputy head go away. Then we can start asking each other questions.
Good that worked, and now I have a free period. Yippee!
"Hello, Melinda Sleam speaking. Yes, she's right here. Emily, Mrs Dratt for you."
Eek, what have I done now?
"Hello, Mrs Dratt Emily Shark here. How can I er, yes, I did write that. Oh, I'm sorry. Yes."
Look at Sleam's listening shoulders. I know, I'm being squished by this parent and you just happen to be two feet away, making a cup of coffee you won't have time to drink. Go on, spill it.
"Of course, Mrs Dratt. Fire away! Erm... I can't remember that right now... Yes, yes, again, I'm so sorry..."
Well, that's today's free period almost gone. At least Melinda's crawled away to bug someone else.
Ah, and taking her place at the coffee machine is Mr Gorgeous. Hot, strong and dark. That hair was made for pawing. Where would I start the base of the neck and work up? Oh, yeah, that would be good, or maybe
"Hi, Emily. Can I ask you something?"
"Oh! Of course, Jon. Anything!"
Your voice is like whisky on a winter night. What you ask is already yours.
"How is Karl in Year 8? Does he really need a teaching assistant? Miss Fayde seems to set him off..."
Don't just nod, Shark. Listen, or you'll say something that doesn't make sense. Has he really moved in with Melinda?
"Try putting Sandra Fayde between Karl and the window."
"Ah, good idea. Thanks, Emily."
"May I ask you a question now?"
"Have you moved in with Melinda?"
BANG! Shark, just breathe. Don't stare.
"No! No. I'm just staying with her while my plumbing gets sorted out."
The bell is ringing. And all the bells of heaven are ringing with it.
"Oh! I hope you don't mind my asking."
"Not at all. In fact I'm a bit fed up with all the rumours. I think it's quite cool that you just asked, straight out."
"Oh, well, you know " Stop right there, Shark. Don't say any more. Just drink it in slowly. He's only staying with Sleam. Not living with her: staying. Which means he won't stay. HA! And he thinks you're cool. Oh, the hot joy of that.
"Just one question, Emily. Why did you want to know?"
Help! No, I don't want to answer that!
"I'd better go. See you later."
"Yes see you, Jon!"
Don't leave me with another question! Why did you want to know why I wanted to know?
More from Emily in a fortnight