TE19 Iberian Adventure

Sara Mesa

He repeats, parsimoniously, each of her words one by one. The only difference is his maturing voice, the boy he was and is no longer occasionally surfacing.

“I always listen to you,” he says one morning. “You don’t have to test me.”

She inspects him in silence.

The class is quiet.

Ignacio turns his head very slowly and sees them staring at each other, and the way they look at each other stabs him in the stomach.

“How old are you?” she asks.


“And why are you here, if you’re thirteen?”

Surely she knows. She’s only asking to humiliate him.

“I stayed back a year, in another school.”

“What kind of school? One like this? Or public?”

“No, not public. Not like this, either.”

The other students hold their breath, watching them. The air thickens when they look at each other. At times, she seems 84

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