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Saved By The Bell
”A verb is a word that expresses actions, events or states of beings,” says my grade seven English teacher Mr. Johnson.
He is teaching the class about the parts of speech. We are all bored to tears. Everyone is probably thinking that they don’t want to be here and that this is the worst subject ever. No one cares what verbs, nouns, or adjectives are. We are whispering, talking and giggling to each other. None of us are paying attention. Everybody is tired and exhausted, even though it’s only Wednesday.
My classroom is pretty big, but there are lots of kids to fill up the space. All the desks are lined up in neat rows. The clock on the wall ticks slowly as everyone watches the second hand move. It’s like when you go to watch TV, but there’s nothing on. You just stare at it even though you are so bored because there is nothing else to do. Ya, it’s that bad.
“Hey,” a girl sitting in front of me whispers, “if I have to listen to this any longer, I am going to die of boredom.”
We all can’t wait for English class to end. Too bad we have 15 minutes left.
I raise my hand to ask if I can go to the bathroom. I’ll do anything to get out of listening to Mr. Johnson go on and on about interjections.
“Mr. Johnson, can I go to the bathroom please,” I ask him.
‘Yes Jessica, I guess you can. But be quick, next we’re going to learn what prepositions are!” he says enthusiastically.
Mr. Johnson is nice and thoughtful. He means well, but he doesn’t get that kids don’t care about what he’s saying. I get up from my desk and open the door. I pass by many lockers and other classrooms. I walk as slowly as I possibly can so I don’t have to go back. I open the big, wooden door to the bathroom. Even though I don’t have to go, I still need to have an excuse so I can get out of class. I peek under all the stall doors to find no one is there with me.
In the bathroom there is a big mirror. The stalls are painted fire truck red with yellow sinks. There is a tiled floor with streaks from people’s shoes. I look at myself, fixing my hair and putting on more lip-gloss. I try to waste as much time as I can. I stroll out of the bathroom looking at the water fountain. I press the button, lean over, and take a long sip of the cool water. I decide that I should probably head back to the classroom. I take a few steps when out of nowhere, I hear the principal say something over the P.A. System.
“Lock down with intruder. Please secure the building. Everyone stay calm.”
Right then and there, I start to panic. I hear the door to the school open and then bang shut. I dash towards my classroom which is in the middle of the hallway. I jiggle the door handle. My luck, it’s locked. I go to all the other classrooms on the main floor and try those door handles. All of them are locked, except there is one at the other end of the hallway left to try. I hear footsteps running behind me but I’m too afraid to look back. I run as fast as I can to get into that classroom.
I turn the handle and burst into the room. I close the door and lock it quickly. I look around the room and see the whole class, including the teacher, huddled on the floor by the teacher’s desk. As soon as I walk in I can smell fear. The teacher crawls out from her desk.
“Who are you?” she asks sounding frightened.
“My name is Jessica and I’m in the seventh grade. I was just in the bathroom when I heard the principal over the P.A. system,” I say.
“Okay, stay here until it’s safe,” she says reassuringly.
I go under the desk with the other kids like I’m told. The lights are off and the door is now locked. I let my eyes adjust to the darkness. This room looks almost like mine. Now I can see everything. They have a big window, a narrow window beside the door, a round table at the back of the room, and the students desk are aligned like ours. I glance at the other kids but I don’t know any of them. I don’t even recognize the teacher.
The door handle starts to move frantically and someone appears in the narrow window. All I can see from where I am crouching is a face. It’s a man. A tall, dark and scary looking man. He is dressed in all black and is very mysterious. He wears a black trench coat, black boots, black pants, black gloves and a black mask that only shows his eyes. He starts to bang on the window with all of his might, trying to break it so he can reach the lock on the door and get in. I’m biting my nails furiously and I wish I never left my class. Everyone is hiding behind the desk, not facing the little window. He can’t see us but he knows we’re in here. I lose my balance because I can’t keep crouching any longer. I fall into a stream of light, in front of the window. I’m in plain sight and the man bangs on the window even harder. He points his finger at me. I scramble to get back behind the desk. I can’t. I’m frozen solid. I can’t move. His cold, empty eyes stare into mine. He points at me again.
“Jessica,” he moans.
In a low, shallow voice I say, “How do you know my name?” even though no one can hear me over the noise.
All of a sudden, he’s gone. The banging stops and everyone is silent. No one dares to move. We all hope he has given up and left. We see him walk out of the school and come up to our big window. He pulls out a hammer from his coat and holds it above his shoulders. He swings it around and smashes the glass, big enough for him to fit through. The students shriek with terror. We try to get out of the classroom as quickly as we can. The man comes through the broken glass, getting closer and closer to me. He is yelling out my name. He runs around the classroom like a maniac still holding the hammer. I try to hide myself but it’s too late. I scream at the top of my lungs so that someone will come to help me. He reaches out his cold hands and grabs my arm.
BRING! The school bell startles me. I notice my binder on the ground and all of my papers seem to have fallen out. I jump to the floor picking them up and putting them back into my binder. A group of kids are standing there beside my desk and staring at me like I’m crazy. Mr. Johnson is just sitting at his desk peacefully marking our assignments. I get back up and find I have a few sticky notes on my back. I take them off. I pick up my stuff and head to my next class.