Thank you, Mr Williams

Mr Williams screamed at me every week: my reading, my comprehension, my penmanship…  his comprehension (of me). He was strict and uncompromisingly ferocious. He wasn’t a bad guy, and I wasn’t the pet whipping boy, but I was just a little lazy*, and he rightfully let me know.
After two years of putting up with me in his English class, he must have breathed a sigh of relief at my departure – to subjects’ greener – whilst dreading the results that I would bring to his O Level record.
Three months later I stood in the School Hall, clutching a white envelope in my sweating paw. Would the letter shock the most optimistic of souls, or just me. I paused and stared, watching my life chances fade in my mind…
Tearing it open, the shadow of a cheap brown suit loomed over me. It was Mr Williams. I turned, dreading what was to come and glanced up to a most bizarre sight;  he was smiling (it couldn’t be good). I braced myself for the usual tirade… but, as he offered his hand, all I heard was a single soft spoken word, ”Congratulations”. I’d passed both Language and Literature. Whatever had gone before was swept away in that brief moment.
It would be fair to say I’ve never forgotten that act of kindness, and so having my first work published today – thirty years later – I wonder what would he have thought, of the book what I wrote?

The Long Way – A.E.Greb

(click image to enter)

“an endurance event in the land of the beautiful game”
Foreword by Richard Lee, Alan Dowson, Ian Selley & Martin Tyler
Thanks to Mr Williams and everyone who encouraged or helped along the way. I couldn’t have done this without you*.


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