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Ruby between the cracks, p.36
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       Ruby Between the Cracks, p.36

           P.D. Workman

  * * *

  The teacher called on June, and Justin glanced over at her, moving his eyes but not his head. June appeared to be gazing out the window, completely oblivious to Mrs. Mitchell. Some of the other children started to giggle, but June still didn’t clue in and turn her attention back to the class. The teacher walked over to June’s desk and stopped right beside her. There was silence while everyone waited for June’s reaction. Eventually, she turned her attention back to the class, and startled when she saw the teacher at her desk.

  “Oh! Mrs. Mitchell.” Her eyes were wide, and she looked over at Justin for some sort of clue as to what she should do. She adjusted the shoulder strap that was falling down her arm.

  “What are you daydreaming about, June?” the teacher asked.

  “Oh… ummm… I just…”

  “I need you to focus on what we are doing.”

  “Okay. Yes.”

  Justin watched June’s feet shift back and forth and cross and uncross. She shot him another look, desperate for help. But there was nothing Justin could do. They had already threatened to put the twins in different classes, and they had both promised to act like they didn’t even know each other, and work on their own schoolwork separately, and not talk to each other during class. It was a mistake that had put them both into the same class in the first place. Schools didn’t like having siblings in the same room. If Justin interfered with class discipline, they would go ahead and move him to the other grade three class, even if it was mid-year. He swallowed and looked straight ahead at the board, unable to help June.

  “Stay in at recess. I want to go over some of your work with you,” Mrs. Mitchell directed.

  June nodded, looking down at the top of her desk with teary eyes. Justin longed to be able to go over and comfort her. It wasn’t fair that he had to ignore her embarrassment. But he stayed stoic, staring straight ahead.

  The teacher went back to the front of the class and continued with the lesson. But Justin barely heard a word of it, too distracted by June’s sniffles on the other side of the room.

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