Car 5

Miss Iris Kraushaar

Outward appearance

Elongated 13 year old, brown hair pulled back, wraparound tartan skirt, powder blue stockings, with socks rolled down around ankles on top of spongy brown loafers. Braces on teeth. The whole effect is curiously 1940s. Listens warily to the girl next to her..

Inside information

A ballet student who gets two mornings a week off from St Paul's girl's school to attend dance classes held in the Merely College studio. Grandparents are German refugees who escaped Hitler's Germany. Father is Financial Director of a large pharmaceutical company.

What she is doing or thinking

Sonali is trying to tell her that she's got a big bum. They were supposed to have a truce. Neither one of them is exactly a dancer yet. Iris tries to talk instead about a favourite teacher.

Sonali keeps up the attack. "Well she's got the reverse problem. Tiny legs."

Iris delicately rubs the tip of her nose. Sonali is the nearest thing Iris has to a friend. This new jealousy, if that's what it is, is some kind of last straw.

Maybe Sonali is put off by the big house in Bishops Drive. Iris is. She wants out from under her family. Above all else she wants to be a dancer. She knows she is shy, slow to make friends. And dedicated.

She decides, very quietly. She'll leave, go to a boarding school with a proper dance programme. To begin work in earnest. To grow up.

"Tiny legs or not, she's a good teacher." Iris chuckles. "She's just a bit demanding for people who are too young."

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