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‘It gets harder.’

‘What does?’

‘It. Everything. Teaching. Writing. Listening to you.’

‘I didn’t see that coming.’

‘You never do.’

‘You’d think it would get easier.’

‘That was my line!’

‘You would, though.’

‘But it doesn’t, does it. Every time just like the first. The filling classroom. The blank page. All I have learned is that I have learned nothing. I know nothing. Nothing. The terror never ebbs, it only burgeons, the mind an echo chamber replying to itself in the darkness. I can’t go on like this. I can’t.’

‘But you have to,’ the book says.