Curtis’ Journey to School

December 18, 2007
By Evan Tarry, Leawood,, KS



It wasn’t going to stop. The bus was gone. I knew there was no way to get to school on time now. It’s funny how when you’re on time the big yellow bus seems so friendly, almost as if it’s a big, fluffy animal. So cheery, with old Mr. Jenkins sitting in the giant, comfy chair with his crumpled-up hand resting on the stick that opens and closes the door. His smile is like a big banana, similar in color. But when you’re late it’s a whole different story. It seems as if the worst monster in history is the big yellow thing that for some reason you’re chasing. All I could think about was the fact that if I was late one more time I would be expelled.

I guess my only chance is to try to get there walking. As I walked rather quickly past the old ladies house I thought about the Halloween that my friends and I caught her leaving and one of us asked her why she didn’t stay home at her haunted house to hand out candy and scare people. She wasn’t too happy. She ended up being my neighbor’s grandmother! So whenever I see that two-hundred-feet-long Cadillac whip around the corner I hurry right on inside.

I walked even faster now, almost running. I had about a mile and a half to go in about seven minutes. There was no way. I just kept hoping for a miracle.

“Hello, Curtis!”

“Hi, Mr. Monroe!” I said.

Mr. Monroe is my neighbor. I mow his lawn during the summer because he’s always gone on business. I guess it pays off because he yelled hello to me from his Porsche Carrera.

A few minutes later my mind started wandering. What if I climbed in the old squeaky window and snuck into class. There was only one problem with this, and it wasn’t that the window was too high or squeaky. It was that the teacher for my first period was known throughout the entire school district as the strictest teacher ever to live. Mr. Pierce. It was the best shot I could give it. I ran as fast as I could, quickly loosing my breath.

Now I could see the big light-up sign for the Wendy’s that was a few blocks before my school. That got my hopes up a little. I looked at my watch. It said 7:57. School started at 8:00, which meant I had three minutes to make it. I looked over my shoulder and the coolest kid in school, Carter, whisked by and gave me a smirk from his mom’s Mercedes. He didn’t think much of me. All I could think of was that in a minute or so he would be opening the front door of school and walking in, just in time. It’s not that I wasn’t liked at school. There were just a few that wanted to have nothing to do with any of the others. If it were almost any other kid and their parent I bet they would have pulled over and given me a ride.

Finally, I could see the old sign in front of my school.
Prexton Middle School
249 East Kelman
Sioux Falls, South Dakota

There was still not much hope because there was three blocks to go, one with a light that had just turned red. I had one minute to get there. I sprinted up to the light slammed the button a million times and finally the green lights going the other way turned yellow. Now I could see my classroom window. I saw the red hand on the post change to the guy walking. I dashed across the busy intersection and went toward the big brick school. Thirty seconds left before that dreaded bell would ring. I stepped onto the school grounds, not slowing down one bit. There they were, all the kids in my class that were on time. I ran up and knocked on the window. Carter and his group turned around, laughed, turned back around and kept talking. Ben, a really quiet guy, walked over and I yelled at him to open the window. He looked around and then opened it. The minute it came open I heard it. The bell. DING, DING, DING, DING.

When I thought for sure all hope was lost, Ben said, “Hey. Don’t worry, don’t worry. We have a sub. It’s Mrs. Pollack.”

What? Is he serious? This can’t be true. The time that I am late that would’ve normally gotten me expelled and we have a sub? I threw myself through the window ran to my seat just as I sat down she said, “Curtis Millston?”


“Alright, very good.”

This was the miracle I had been hoping for when I was passing the old lady’s house. I guess it had come true!

That day as school was let out I saw some workers installing cameras outside the doors and some of the classrooms. I could only wonder about how lucky I had been.

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