The History Lesson
By Hazel P, Coláiste Cholm, Cork, Written in Autumn 2020
CIAN, RYAN and AOIFE are sitting in history class chatting while they wait for Mr. Murphy to start the lesson.
CIAN: Ah, crap. Ryan, did we get history homework?
RYAN: Yes. Yes, we did.
CIAN: Ughhhh. What was it? (swiftly takes out pens and paper)
AOIFE: (laughing) You never do your homework.
CIAN: (giggling) Shut up.
- MURPHY: Settle down, class. We are about to begin our lesson. This week, we will be learning about Mussolini.
Forty minutes pass. There is a knock at the door.
PRINCIPAL: Can I please speak with Cian Bourke?
CIAN stands up and walks to the door.
PRINCIPAL: Bring your bag, please.
They walk to the office.
CIAN (nervously): Have – did I do something wrong? Am I in trouble?
PRINCIPAL: No. Your mother is inside. We just need to have a chat.
The PRINCIPAL opens the door to meet Cian’s mother CLIODHNA inside. She is sobbing.
CLIODHNA: Cian, my boy! (She runs to hug him)
CIAN: Can someone please tell me what is going on, please?
CLIODHNA: Your father was murdered this morning.
CIAN is speechless. The colour is gone from his face. He is as pale as a ghost from shock and he is frozen in place. CIAN thinks back to saying goodbye to his father that morning. The realisation of that being the last time he would ever speak to his father causes him to break down.
CIAN falls to his knees – cutting out everything around him – and starts sobbing heavily.