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I Killed My Teacher
Tyler Reyed is the name; surviving high school is the game. This is the story about how I became the enemy of the school in a matter of three days. Not really the kind of thing you say when you just meet someone. Sorry but I just thought I would give you a little insight on this crazy thing commonly known as the 9th grade.
Tomorrow I have to give a big speech in English class about some old dude who died way before anyone now can understand what he’s saying. Talking in front of class isn’t one of my strong suits, and I don’t really have to that often. I live in a small town and the weather is about as bipolar as my Aunt Tracie, and that’s pretty bad. I haven’t had much room to explore the rest of the United States, but I don’t mind sitting at home and lounging on my couch all day. Quiet is my luxury, so I just sit in the back of my brick classrooms and watch all the scholars chat away and answer all of the class’s questions.
I should skip; maybe fake some deadly illness that will put me out for the first week at least. Yes! That’s what I’ll do! My parents are divorced and I live with my mom on weekdays so this will be a piece of cake. My mom is the nice one. She always tries to be perfect and like the caring mothers she sees on her stupid talk shows so I can get away with a lot. If I even cough a bit and say my tummy hurts I’ll be in. Oh man, what will I tell Oscar? We were supposed to walk to school together, even though I would prefer to take the bus. Oscar’s my best friend. He lives only a couple houses away and I’ve known him since I could stand on two legs. He’s a little guy like me with a baby face and a lot of his baby fat (as he refers to it) still attached to his stomach. Oscar is probably the palest Asian I know and he has jet black hair that sticks straight up and shines blue in the sun. He doesn’t really talk to anyone either, that’s why we are such great friends.
That night I lied down in my bed and made a loud grown so my mom would hear. When I heard her faint footsteps coming up the stairs, I darted to the hairdryer in the bathroom and put it on the highest setting. It was brilliant. I would look flushed and my face would be warm. Turning the savior on the highest setting, I put it up to my face and my hair was blown back from the strong air. I shoved the hairdryer under my bed and put my hand on my stomach. My mom walked in with a concerned face. “What’s wrong hunny?” Classic mom phrase.
“Oh mom I feel horrible! I don’t think I can go to school this week. The pain is just awful!” My plan was going to work. I can feel it.
Kneeling down next to my bed, she left my forehead. She squished her eyebrows together in the middle of her face like she does when she is contemplating things. When she was pulling her hand away, her hand stopped mid air. “Uhh! I should’ve known.” She picked up the black hairdryer cord. With her left eyebrow raised she looked at me with an accusing glare. Such a stupid mistake! I should’ve known to be trickier after seeing CSI on the DVR. I shrugged my shoulders and gave her a sheepish grin. Well, it was worth a shot. “No. You are going to school tomorrow, and the next day and the day after that, and the day after that, and the day after that……..” Her voice withered away as she walked out of my room and down the stairs.
Oh well. Guess this means I actually have to start on my presentation. That, my friend, is procrastination at its best. That night, my twig-like arms typed away as I tried to keep my grades above failing. I don’t need to spend another year in that school. We are the Trojans. Every immature High School kid laughed at our name and represented it on spirit days in a way that the administrators would not approve. I personally find it embarrassing so the quicker I could get out of here the better.
Morning; another one of my enemies. If I had the choice, I would sleep all day and stay up all night, kind of like an owl but I enjoy my head to stay in the front of my body. But on the bright side of things my speech is at least C quality! My mother didn’t make breakfast for me after the little façade I tried to pull last night so no orange juice and toast for me. I shrugged my shoulders and walked down my now cold hallway to the front door. I put my blue baggy jacket over my striped t-shirt because the hallway felt cold and that usually meant a cold front came through and mom forgot to close a window. We were in desperate need of better house and window insulation. I had my speech in one hand, my previously prepared lunch in the other and my backpack weighing me down on my back. How was I supposed to open the door?! I turned around and tried to shove it open with my butt. With one powerful blow, I stuck my butt out and the door flew open without me even touching it. Before I had time to question what just happened, I was collapsing into the pavement. Ouch. I could definitely feel that one! Sitting in the ground with my eyes wide open, Oscar was laughing hysterically to himself. Pushing my eyebrows down in a grimace I mumbled, “Not funny.” I could feel my cheeks burning red hot. He outstretched his pale, boney hand and tried to help me up. I groaned at my bruised tailbone and walked swiftly away from embarrassment.
Oscar tried to catch up to me. “Hey Tyler I got an idea!” He thought he was very funny so my first thought was that he was going to make some snide remark about my clumsiness.
Picking up my pace I said, “I don’t want to hear it Oscar. Let’s just go to school and get this day over with.”
He kept pressing on. “No it’s not about your clown feet! This is a legit idea I swear!” Uhh here we go. To signal that I was listening I turned around and looked at him. I’m sure my facial expression was something to be remembered. It was probably a mix of annoyance, anger, and drowsiness. “Ok so you know how we are the shrimps of the 9th grade?” Snide comment number one. I looked down and nodded. “Well I am determined to reinvent myself. The ladies will be all over the new Oscar! I’m going to be like the hulk. I know exactly what to do! All I need is some protein shakes and my parents’ workout room. It’s OK Tyler; I’ll still have your back.”
“Gee thanks. What an honor. Good luck with that is all I have to say.” This phase should go away as soon as he picks up the bar and realizes that his scrawny arms can’t take it. Until then I will grin and bear it. We walked to school in silence that day as Oscar kept flexing his muscles and admiring his new idea.
When we got to school, the lines of busses had just arrived and students were pulling up in their cheap, Junkers. It was Monday so most of the students had sleepy eyes and a lot of the girls were dressing comfortable in their sweatshirts and baggy sweatpants. Walking up to the red brick building, the sidewalks ever-so-slightly slightly elevated to the on sought of glass doors reading Main Entrance. Oscar was gazing at all of the girls as they walked in, but creeping wasn’t exactly my forte. Instead I stood in front of the entrance with a blank stare, not wanting to start my week. Eventually, I needed to stop stalling and opened the surprisingly heavy doors. My locker was in the hallway furthest away from every other class, and that didn’t help the whole freshman thing because I was forced to carry most of my books to every class.
My first class was chemistry. It’s the middle of the semester and I still have yet to learn something useful in that class. When will I ever have to know about the volume and pressure of things? Never!
I walked into the class expecting it to be like all the other chemistry classes. It basically was, except for the putrid smell of some mystery chemical burning and someone sitting in my spot. I sighed and slumped my shoulders, not paying much attention to who it was in my spot. This wasn’t the first time this happened either, people just usually forgot about me and that someone was sitting there. I looked down and barely moving my lips said, “Sorry, that’s my desk.” The person looked up at me with ice blue eyes and brown ringlets that rolled over her shoulders as the goddess moved her head to look at me, the peasant. How could someone be blessed with this much beauty! She should share it with all the other students. It wasn’t fair for one person to have everything. She left with a simple sorry and her skirt made waves with the air as she walked away. The new girl. She probably doesn’t know about my loser status yet! But I don’t want to be that guy that comes at her and cuts off all of her air. She was probably used to idiotic guys, but I wasn’t used to girls like that! Oh well. Maybe next year. And with that I continued on with class.
All my other classes went normal the rest of the day until my lifeguarding class. I was put in that class by my naïve guidance counselor, Mr. Jacen. He himself was a lifeguard in high school, and he was trying to recruit new guards. It seemed to me like he was reminiscing about the “good days” because there was nothing in his office that proved he was over the age of 25. Pictures of him and his college friends were hung on the old fashioned floral wallpaper and he had his torn up lifeguarding tube resting along the left side of his desk. The most obvious thing was the certificate in a big frame hanging in the middle of the room on its very own wall that said “ALEC JACEN. BEST LIFEGUARD IN THE CITY OF SEATTLE. 1979.” Anyone can see that this was his most prized possession. I don’t know what Mr. Jacen saw in me but, he wanted me to have the same success as him. I tried to tell him a million times that I couldn’t do it and that I wasn’t athletic, but he came back at me with a big rant on how I need to have more self confidence. That’s how I ended up in this class.
The class itself wasn’t that hard, mostly just swimming. I could at least do that. So far we learned ways to enter the water and ways to save people in and out of the water. One of our schools greatest accomplishments is that we are nationally recognized for never having an accident happen in our pool. Thank God I had Oscar because a lot of things were partner activities and I wasn’t about to go up to the huge athletic kids and ask to be partners. Oscar and I walked to the basement together just like every day but the new girl in my chemistry class ran to catch up to us. “Hey guys! Tyler! Wait up!” Was she talking to me? Ehh probably not. When we walked into the class, I turned around to find the girl glaring at me with squinty eyes and arms crossed. Wow I didn’t even know her and I already made her mad. I am truly one with the ladies. With accusing eyes and clenched teeth she managed to say, “I was calling you and you didn’t stop! I was practically running down the hallway to catch up to you.” She could probably tell I had no idea what she was talking about by the dumbfounded look on my face. She sighed and said, “I’m sorry. I’m Ellie; I’m new here. I just wanted someone to confirm that I was going to the right class. Lifeguarding right?”
Nodding, I mumbled under my breath, “Ellie.” The new girl looked at me and asked if I said anything. Embarrassed, I shook my head and said, “No sorry. But yes you are in the right class; my class.”
‘You’re in lifeguarding…? You don’t look very……”
I spared her the insult and agreed. Now feeling awkward I walked into the class and sat down. We were getting our CPR dummies today. There wasn’t enough so some people were going to have to share. Oscar volunteered me and him to share. Great just what could make this day better. They looked really creepy. We had to take the rubbery plastic chest off and put in their lungs then clip their faces on. They looked like Voldemort from Harry Potter. I was never a big fan of that book or just reading in general, so it didn’t interest me when Oscar noticed the resemblance and started rambling off all these snippets from the series. Oscar only signed up for the class because he thought it would help with the whole muscle thing. Well it should work because today we were working on escapes. That is just basically when someone is drowning; they will try and grab you wherever they can to stay above the water. We are learning how to escape this. I was put in my crazy teacher’s group-great. No one ever wanted to be in Mrs. Ottan’s group because she was completely psycho.
The class was in the dive well and she called my name to go second. Phil was first. Poor Phil. He wasn’t the weakest one in the class and as Mrs. Ottan read his name, I could’ve mistaken his face for a tomato. Anyone could tell he doubted himself and his abilities to pass the skill test, or the class in general. Mrs.Ottan had Phil turn around as she swam behind him. In one swift motion, she flung her arms over his shoulders and wrapped them around his neck. Phil started screaming and punching her arms, which was clearly not what we were supposed to do. She loosened her grip and told the grade keeper to mark fail next to his name. Oh man, that looked intense, and now it’s my turn to die.
She called my name and sighed, knowing I wouldn’t be able to pass the test either. Pointing her long, polished finger in the direction of where she wanted to strangle me, I tried stalling as long as I could; asking questions about what I’m supposed to do and why she is doing what she’s doing. But there were only so many questions so eventually I swam over. Putting my back to her was probably the worst part; the thumping of my heart drowned out the sound of my classmates as my teacher stalked behind me. She lifted her saggy arms up and over my shoulders and around my neck. Acting on instinct, I flung around and panicked. My feet went crazy and I had no control over their wild movements. Without realizing I struck my teacher with one swift blow to the head. My teacher was knocked unconscious and I just swam away like nothing happened. But I didn’t know what I had done! Mrs. Ottan sank to the bottom of the pool, like a parachute floating back to the surface. The lifeguard sitting on her chair jumped out of her seat. She was surprised that she was actually going to be able to go in the water, as nothing had ever happened to our schools perfect pool record. Of course it was me who was going to drown our teacher and ruin the school’s perfect record. Of course.
The lifeguard blew her whistle and everyone rushed out of the pool. Wrapping her tube around her she guided her body into the pool in a perfect slip in, assuming the worst had happened. Taking in a single deep breath, she lowered herself to the bottom of the pool where my unconscious teacher now laid. Oscar was the only one still in the pool; frozen with all the chaos around me. After a couple of seconds, the frizzy hair of Mrs. Ottan came to the surface with the lifeguard swimming her back to the ledge. The aid for the class slipped in the water and inserted the board under the unconscious body.
“911 are on their way!” Megan frantically announced from the locker room.
They were doing everything right; I have never seen someone look so graceful while in a dire situation like this before. I, on the other hand, was hysterical. My tears felt warm as it contrasted the pool water and I was hyperventilating. I killed my teacher! The other aid, Julia, yelled for me to grab onto her tube. Why was she trying to help me? I ruined Ms. Ottan’s life! And besides, Julia has never shown a liking to me anyways. She would just sit there chewing her gum standing a pose that you would think only exists in the movies or overrated soap operas. But I’ve never seen this side of her; caring and concerned I mean. Coming out of the pool, I turned around and saw my teacher being pulled out of the water on the spinal board. Man I am in so much trouble. My parents are going to send me away for the rest of forever! What about Oscar? What about Ellie?! Uhh! I should probably just forget about Ellie. She probably hates me now.
“Tyler get out of the way! MOOOOOVE! The EMTs are trying to get through!” My ears were flooded with everyone screaming the same thing at me, but I was lost in my thoughts. But I came back to reality when I felt two hands pressing on my back and my knees and elbows met the ground with an unpleasant smack. Not my idea of a nice way to get someone to move, but effective. The rest of the day was a blur- everyone talking to me at the same time I just zoned out.
Apparently Ms. Otten is alive and doing well because no one was writing too many death threats on twittbook. My mom allowed me to skip the next day of school, and the next, and the next, as long as I would rake the mounds of leaves in our backyard. We had at least 15 trees lining our property, but I raked all of them! I wasn’t ready to show my face in that school until at least a week after the accident. I should wear a shirt into school that says “I come in peace” so not everyone will beat me up.
Alright its Wednesday, almost a week and a half after the accident. There are no more chores to do so my mom is making me go back to school. I guess it’s a good thing, I’m already going to have a tough enough time making up all that homework; especially chemistry. Uhh chemistry! Just thinking about it made me exhausted, so I slept right up till I couldn’t anymore. School time.
My mom came in my room with a letter for my guidance counselor. She never really said anything about what happened so I guessed now was the time she was waiting for.
“Tyler I understand that you don’t want to go back to school, but you have to. And if any of the kids are mean to you just let me know and Mommy will take care of it. But you have to look at it from their point of view before you can judge their actions. What would you think if you heard about one of the students sending a teacher to the hospital? You probably wouldn’t be too forgiving either. So just try to explain what happened to the big mouthed people so they can spread it around. Don’t listen to the name calling or the snide comments-they don’t know you and they don’t know what happened. Just please give this to your guidance counselor, it’s about you dropping out of your lifeguarding class….I didn’t think you would want to go back.”
Woah. I have never heard such serious and intelligent stuff come out of my mother’s mouth. Usually it’s just things she learned from her TV shows. This was impressive. I thanked her for the little pep talk and called Oscar to let him know I was meeting him for school.
What a good friend. Right when I walked outside he was there, waiting. He didn’t ask any questions about what happened and I appreciated it. I didn’t want to think about it anymore. He did look bigger, more buff. How is that possible?!
Oscar turned to me and just stared for a bit. I could feel his eyes on me and it was getting creepy so I finally turned to look at him. His voice seemed to have deepened too. How did this happen in a couple weeks?! “Ya know Tyler, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”
“Thanks.” I didn’t know what else to say to that. He seemed kind of offended by my monotone voice and lack of interest in his new shape.
The 5-minute walk to school seemed much longer, because that was the last thing we said to each other. Right as I saw the colossal tree that seemed to cover my small school, the horror of the past event flooded over me. Everyone seemed to be staring at me, and it wasn’t just in my head because Oscar’s blood rushed to the center of his cheeks as he noticed the fixed eyes. I was being mean mugged by every student in the hallways and in my classes. Even some of the teachers gave me the cold shoulder. Most of these kids didn’t even know I existed before and now they hate me. Doesn’t seem very fair.
The rest of the day went as expected-horrible, tiring, embarrassing, awkward, and all that other fun stuff. My guidance counselor took me out of my lifeguarding class, thanks to an awfully apologetic letter from my mother. At least I didn’t have to face that class…and my teacher. Should I apologize or just stay far far away? I think I’m going to stick to the far far away option.
Oscar offered to bring me to the gym with him, but I didn’t want to be stared at while being shown up by all the fit people. The night was rather spent doing homework and staring at my clock waiting for time to pass.
Ellie texted me that night. I’m not even sure how she got my number, but I wasn’t complaining. She just asked me if everything was all right. How sweet. I’m surprised she wasn’t scared to talk to me in fear of ruining her reputation. I haven’t seen her forever. I know it sounds kind of creepy and obsessive but I think I miss her more than I missed Oscar, and he’s my best friend. We only talked for about 20 minutes until things got awkward, then I told her I had to go. Well I guess I’ll see her in chemistry tomorrow. I spent the last class in the guidance office redoing my schedule.
The next day was like the one before; people staring, no one talking to me, comments under people’s breaths. They’ll have to get over it sometime. Right? There’s gotta be some more interesting gossip than me at some point.
“Tyler what are you staring at?” Ellie’s eyes looked confused as she questioned me.
“Oh…that’s embarrassing. Sorry I was just thinking.” That was awkward.
Ellie giggled, “You’re one weird kid.” As if I already didn’t know.
I was quiet the rest of the day. Things were pretty much the same day after day for the next week or so, but eventually they got better. People stopped noticing me in the halls and they were running into me, not because they hated me, but because they didn’t see me. I guess that’s an improvement. The new thing to talk about was the alleged affair one of the math teachers had with the social studies teacher. They were both married. I haven’t talked to Ms. Ottan at all. Actually, I haven’t seen her at all. But something in my head is telling me to go apologize for the little incident. I went to find her down by the pool.
“Ms. Ottan? Are you in there?”
“Tyler is that you? Just come in here.”
“Heeeey Ms. Otten. How are you?”
“If you’re asking about the damage you did-it was minimal and has already been recovered. I’m all healed and healthy now! The trip actually made me realize I really don’t want to be a teacher anymore. An EMT is where it’s at. So actually I’d like to thank you.”
“Thank me? I was just here to apologize” Was this some kind of reverse psychology?
“No need for apologies. You helped me realize that that was the most action I’d probably ever get on this job and that’s not what I’m looking for. Oh and you help realign my spine.”
“Oh…well…I guess you’re welcome then? Bye I guess.”
I can honestly say nothing like that has ever happened. I feel a lot better now that I got that off my chest.
I haven’t talked to Oscar in a couple days. I don’t like it, so I agreed to go to the gym with him after school. His diet now fully consists of protein bars and peanut butter. I could lift maybe a little more than the car while Oscar as lifting a plate. Great. I was now probably the smallest kid in my class. At least I get to talk to Oscar. Bonding time isn’t just for girls! Guys need their bro time too.
When I got home, I got another text from Ellie. She said I looked cute today and that she wanted to hangout with me. Could this really be happening? Ehh she must’ve sent it to the wrong number.
The next day at school Ellie asked if I got her text because I didn’t respond. I quick lied and said no, but she saw right through me.
“Why didn’t you respond?”
“I thought you meant to send it to someone else. I’m sorry.”
“Oh…well…yeah let’s hangout sometime soon!”
“Yeah sure no problem!” My face must’ve been red cause she laughed and turned around.
Looks like things were finally turning out for me. Maybe high school isn’t such a bust. At least I hope it isn’t- I got 3 more years here.