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Fourth Period (repost with editing)
I’m stuck in fourth period. Again. I feel as if the room is closing up on me. The walls are caving in. The window is so close, I can almost reach it… suffocating, choking… just a little farther…
“Mr. Grant, would you please stop distracting the class?”
I stop my franticly tapping pencil.
“Now Mr. Grant, what is the answer to number twenty-three?” Mrs. Howard enunciates like her life depends on it. Twenty-three becomes ‘Ta-Wen-Tee Tha-Reeeee’
I don’t know the answer to number Ta-Wen-Tee Tha-Reeeee, nor do I know the answer to Twenty-Three. I think that’s pretty clear; but Mrs. Howard is not one to pick up on hints.
“Mr. Grant? Are you still with us? I asked you a question,” Her lips kind of look like a deflated balloon, the way she coats them with that pink lip-goop. I’m pretty sure she thinks I’m pondering number Twenty-Three when in actuality I’m just thinking about her lips. Oh wait, that didn’t come out right. Ew…
I should probably say something, but it’s kind of funny watching her reaction to my silence. Oh, I think she just called on someone else. Apparently they know the answer to number Twenty-Three.
“For Pete’s sake Mr. Grant, stop tapping your pencil!” Oops. It wasn’t even on purpose that time. My pencil has a mind of its own, I swear.
14 minutes until the end of this h*** class. I think the clock likes to taunt me. Just like the ceiling fan. I know whenever I look away the ceiling fan slows down. I have never caught it in the act though. Every time I turn to look, it starts speeding up again. The clock must be friends with my ceiling fan. They must team up to make me miserable.
I think Mrs. Howard is talking to me again.
“Mr. Grant, since you seem to be so fond of tapping that pencil of yours, how would you like to stay afterschool and sweep the music room?” I’m about to answer when I realized she’s mocking me. Oh. Well, it could have been serious. I almost wish it was. I’d rather sweep the music hall than spend the afternoon watching my dad drink beer.
“No, Mrs. Howard, I’ll stop.” She glares at me again. She’s probably wishing I’d get a schedule change. She’s not the only one.
I’m looking out the window again. I do it every day. I’m not sure why the scenery draws my attention, but it does.
Something is different about the window today. There is something lodged in it. It looks like paper. I wonder if it’s a map. Maybe it shows an underground escape route from this classroom. I hope so. I’m going to pick it up after class.
There’s 3 minutes left. My hand is twitching. I want to tap my pencil, but I know Mrs. Howard would not approve.
I wonder if Mrs. Howard has pencil-tappers of her own. I doubt it. She doesn’t seem to like kids very much, and if she did happen to have them, I’m sure she wouldn’t let them tap their pencils.
I’m in trouble again. Apparently I’ve been tapping my red pen.
“Jeffrey Grant, I’m afraid this is the last straw. You are constantly disrupting my class, tapping that pencil. Detention, tomorrow morning.”
I raise my hand.
“Actually, this time I was tapping my pen.” The class laughs. Mrs. Howard does not look happy.
The bell rings. I’m walking towards the window when I hear my name. Mrs. Howard looks scary. She gestures for me to take a seat.
Mrs. Howard leans up really close and whispers
“Mr. Grant, I am sick of your immature, smart-*** backtalk. I’m warning you, if this becomes a habit I will see to it that you are suspended. Now leave.”
I wasn’t trying to be a smart-***. I was being serious. All I did was point out the fact that I was tapping a pen, not a pencil.
I grab my bag and shift it onto my shoulder. I'm already gone by the time I remember the note.
My secret escape map lies abandoned. I wonder if it gets lonely. I do. The library is a pretty spacious place to eat lunch, especially when it's just the librarian and me.
In the library i think. Sometimes I wish my dad liked me as much as his Miller Lite. Other times I wonder why my only friend is the sixty-year-old librarian. yoday i think about myself. I think that maybe I'm just a note shoved in a window, waiting for someone to read me.