Air Conditioning

January 19, 2009
By Taylor Eidem, Excelsior, MN

Dripping with sweat, I looked for a way out. I was unwillingly confined by the devilish Mr. Fenwick, everyone’s least favorite middle school gym teacher. I wanted out of this hell-hole. Noting that the door by the girl’s locker room was open, I continued feigning interest in the two hour long game of basketball. The nonexistent climate control and hot summer day made it unbearable; the thermometer on the wall read 93 degrees. I was sick of these school-sponsored torture sessions; frankly I didn’t care that the school made money for feeding us lunch and hence had to keep us at school all day. This was the worst last day of school of all time.

I couldn’t take it anymore. Seeing Mr. Fenwick turn to explain to a student the importance of physical fitness, I calmly ducked through the nearest door. Suddenly, I found myself in the girls’ locker room. I had always wanted to explore this foreign domain, but now was not the time. I navigated the unfamiliar halls and lockers, although my sweat-filled and burning eyes complicated the matter. Finally stumbling upon the exit, I strutted into the hall trying to look like I had a reason to be there.

Now came the difficult part. I had to make my way to the library without detection. I couldn’t think of anything that was more important to me at that moment. A new air conditioning system had been installed in the library at the beginning of the year, to the surprise of the faculty and students alike. Suddenly, kids who had never opened a book in their lives were flocking to the library and delving into the myriad of literary adventures. I couldn’t complain though; there was nothing better than lying on a cool, vinyl bean bag after secreting half of my body weight in sweat onto the notoriously gross wooden desks of the Spanish department. Today had been especially horrible—I had spent the morning in the unbelievably stifling and unventilated basement playing a variety of torturous “games” with my classmates.

I crept along, trying to remain as silent as possible so as not to alert the classes who were taking finals. It wasn’t such an easy task as every class had clear windows facing the hallway. Suddenly, I heard feet shuffling behind me, at the end of the hall. “Hey, what are you doing in the hall!? These kids are taking finals!”

I turned, saw Mr. Fenwick jogging towards me, and realized I had one chance. I could walk back to the gym and suffer the embarrassment of getting caught while suffering in the heat for another 3 hours, or I could run for it. I ran.

“Whoa! What are you doing!? yelled Mr. Fenwick. As I sprinted through the halls, I knew I had to hide somewhere or face the consequences. I turned the corner and pulled open the door to the nearest room. As I slammed the door behind me, I peeked through the window into the hall. A few seconds later, Mr. Fenwick came running by and kept going, searching for the irritated and sweaty kid who had skipped the most important class in school. I was free.

“This is too good to be true,” I thought to myself. It was eerily quiet in this room. I felt the familiar prick of eyes staring into the back of my neck. As I slowly turned in place, it all became abundantly clear. A class of 30 students and their teacher were staring back at me. “Oh—um… sorry?” I sputtered. I backed away from the class and ripped the door open.

I tripped out into the hallway and began walking evenly, trying to avoid suspicion. As embarrassed as I was, I knew what I had to do. “Wait, where am I?” I asked, confused. It suddenly occurred to me that in my frantic flee I had actually made my way towards the library. By this point I was embarrassed, red faced, and had sweated through two shirts.

“Hey, where do you think you’re going?” asked the furious teacher whom I had just interrupted. I couldn’t believe it. I was this close. “Are you skipping class?” she asked.

“Well… No?” I replied timidly. “I was… looking for my math teacher?” She looked at me suspiciously. Suddenly, I saw it in her eyes. She knew what I was doing.

This was it. I would spend the rest of the day getting lectured by the principal. Looking over my shoulder, I couldn’t resist. I had come this far and I would spend the rest of my day facing the consequences. The library door was 5 feet away. I turned, walked to the door and wrenched it open, crossing the threshold.

“Oh…” I thought.

So this is heaven.

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This article has 1 comment.

Bradyboi said...
on Feb. 22 2009 at 5:23 pm
This is very interesting- you have succeeded in making a monotonous day quite intense! Great descriptive writing!

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