Star Teacher

Star Teacher by Jack Sheffield

Book: Star Teacher by Jack Sheffield Read Free Book Online
Authors: Jack Sheffield
had brought him and his sister to England to begin a new life.
    â€˜So that’s my story,’ he said.
    Outside they paused under the black velvet sky. Anne shivered. ‘I had better get home.’
    â€˜Shall I drop you off?’ offered Sally.
    â€˜Please … allow me,’ said Edward.
    â€˜I live on The Crescent off the Easington Road,’ said Anne.
    â€˜That’s on my way,’ he said.
    â€˜Well, thank you, that’s very kind,’ she replied.
    Sally said goodnight and Anne and Edward walked back down the High Street as a bitter wind suddenly blew. ‘Sorry, Anne, I wasn’t thinking. You must be cold.’ He slipped off his winter coat and draped it carefully over her shoulders. Anne held it close, feeling the rough fabric and the warmth of his body as it permeated through to her skin.
    As they drove back to The Crescent, she looked at his large hands gripping the steering wheel. There was no wedding ring.
    Her house was in darkness when they pulled up outside. Edward got out, opened the passenger door and for a brief moment they stood facing each other.
    â€˜So it’s coming back again,’ said Anne.
    â€˜Yes, and in Anglo Saxon chronicles it was referred to as “a source of tears”.’
    â€˜That sounds sad,’ she said.
    Edward smiled and stared into the light of an ethereal sky. ‘The mystery of the stars and planets is nothing when compared to life itself,’ he said softly.
    Anne said nothing. She merely drank in the words of this strange but appealing man.
    Inside the house all was silent and she crept quietly into the bedroom where John lay asleep. She reflected that the two men were like the sun and the moon, like fire and ice. With Edward, for a brief time, she had bathed in his warmth, but here with John each night she lay cold and still. The young, clean-shaven and vigorous man she had married many years ago had gone now. There was no spark, no excitement.
    As she undressed she recalled the gentle touch of Edward’s fingertips on her collar and his cool appraisal of her slim figure. She opened her wardrobe and on impulse slipped on her favourite black nightdress. As she smoothed the silky fabric over her hips she thought of Edward.
    The devil had come to call and, as the church bells of St Mary’s chimed out the hour, she gave a whimsical smile at her sinful thoughts.

Chapter Six
Behind Closed Doors
    Mrs Pringle began practice for the school Nativity play. A response was sent to County Hall following their request to fill the vacant role of local authority governor. Ms Brookside organized a staff night out at the Odeon Cinema in York.
    Extract from the Ragley School Logbook:
Friday, 6 December 1985
    It was Friday, 6 December and a severe frost crusted the rutted back road to Ragley village. Beyond the frozen hedgerows the bare forests on the distant hills had lost their colour and their skeletal leaves had fallen. In the harsh wind the first flakes of snow were drifting down from a gun-metal sky and they tapped gently against my windscreen, a reminder of the harsh winter weather that was about to descend on the high moors of North Yorkshire.
    The bitter cold had frozen the surface of the pond on the village green but this did not seem to deter the early-morning brigade. They were in evidence as I drove slowly up the High Street. Deke Ramsbottom was perched on a noisy tractor heading up towards the Morton Road, while Heathcliffe Earnshaw was delivering the last of his morning papers before returning his canvas bag to Prudence Golightly. Ernie and Rodney Morgetroyd trundled past on their electric milk float and the postman, Ted ‘Postie’ Postlethwaite, gave me a wave as he drew close to completing his first round of the day. However, as he pushed each package and envelope through each letterbox, little did he know the impact today’s correspondence would have on his customers.
    Behind the closed doors of Ragley a

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