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Jean Gill

On the Other Hand

Everyone should think left-handed, at least once.
It started with Napoleon. Or rather it started when her best friend Ryan told 14 year old Jamie that Napoleon had been left-handed too and then somehow they started finding out more. Outraged by their discovery of prejudice and persecutions, Jamie launched a day’s protest, her left hand tied behind her back, while Ryan publicised their cause – and their new series of articles in the school magazine.

Her behaviour in school inevitably led Jamie to the Headteacher’s Office, but the surprising outcome only increased the interest of fellow-pupils in the next publication of the Afan Times. Where else could you find out whether you are left-eyed or right-eyed, left-brained or right-brained and what that might say about you? Where else could you find out about the Romans’ ‘sinister’ habits, the ‘gauche’ French and the chapel ceiling on which a rebellious, left-handed Christian artist painted a left-handed God?

Just as their campaign was taking off, Ryan’s mother announced that she was taking him back to discover his roots – in the U.S.A. Never having lived there, Ryan had no interest in Atlanta or his roots, but, he knew that his mother’s opinions were set in stone, particularly where bringing up children – him – was concerned. He couldn’t remember a time when he didn’t know that he’d been fathered by a sperm bank and he had learnt very early on not too share too much information about his home life with other children. It had been different with Jamie and now they were going to be parted.

At first, Ryan emailed new articles from the States and Jamie coped with the constant digs from Kelly, a mouthy piece who for some strange reason was hanging around Jamie’s garage after school – and around Jamie’s older brother, who rehearsed there with his band (the sort of ‘rehearsals’ which slurred their singing). Then, suddenly, the emails stopped. Had Ryan just moved on? Or had something happened?
On the Other Hand: Book Cover published by Y Lolfa

Cover designed by Clive Biscoe, a talented artist who also works as Manager of the Education Library Resource Service for Neath Port Talbot and Swansea.

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