When can you run away?
If your heartbeat pounds so loudly in your ears you can’t make out the words of a challenge? If your arm falters, your fingers tremble, useless? If your mouth is dry as a dusty road, if your voice fled already, with your breath longing to follow?
But there was no difference between trying and failing, or failing for not trying. She’d be ridiculed either way.
“Gail? Do you need the blackboard?”
“No, I prepared handouts.” As those were passed around, she clutched her prompt cards, cleared her throat, and began, “My topic is Nicolaus Copernicus.”