the graduation mystery

By , Montclair, NJ
The gym thundered with laughter, fifth grade graduation was two weeks away and we were ready. Our music teacher, Mr.Price came up with an original song,it was great everyone loved it the words were easy and rhymed. As practice gathered to an end we all shuffled quietly back to the classroom.
“ That song is so long...they should just cut it,” Mrs.Will our fifth grade teacher complained. We went back into the classroom and had a silent D.E.A.R. period.
“ Ummm Paula! Can you do me a favor and bring Mrs.Passamano these textbooks that I borrowed?”, before I could reply
“I will!”, yelled John from the back of the classroom he was our loudest classmate by far yet he was a nice guy and had a lot of vitality and vigor.
“No! I willl!”, countered James. I chuckled and said sure this happened every time there was an opportunity to leave the room. Arguing with each other about anything was their little idiosyncrasy I picked up the textbooks from the table and started out the hall, walked up the stairs and suddenly I heard some whispers.
“So what do you think, doesn’t that song just drag on and on and on?”, said Mrs.Passamano who was the other fifth grade teacher.
“Well yes, but guess we just have to deal with it”, Replied Mrs.Ring who was Mrs.Passamano’s assistant teacher.

As they heard my footsteps they stopped whispering and we all acted as if I hadn’t heard anything. But as far as they were concerned I hadn’t. I put down the textbooks on her desk and left Mrs. Passamano had a reputation for yelling at everyone and frankly I believed them. I made my way down the steps but I started hearing sirens, ambulance sirens judging from what I saw out the windows in the hall, they had Mr.Price on a stretcher he seemed as still as could be. I worried and tried to remain calm. But then, since I was standing outside his room I seemed to see a shadow. I shook my head and murmured to myself about being crazy. I walked back to my classroom before anyone started wondering where I was. When Mrs.Will gave the class an explanation I pretended to have no idea and just nod in silence.

The next day at graduation practice, it was like a dark gloomy cloud had set itself above us and made us remain in depressing moods. We had a substitute to cover Mr.Price’s class, when the teachers explained the situation the substitute sat down and shuffled around for the copy of the sheet music. Nothing else could have gone wrong, but there was something else. The sheet music was gone, and with it being an original copies weren’t an option.

The teachers decided that the best idea was to look for it later and just go back to class for now. Again we all shuffled back to the classroom with an even more anguish. When we got to the classroom Mrs.Will wanted to give a lesson but couldn’t find her teacher’s edition book with her notes for the lesson. Our day really couldn’t get any better than that the day just looked bleak.

“Hey James can you help me look?”, she said stressed out.

“Can I help too?”, asked John.

“Sure, check that bag”, and they both got up and began the search.
They began with the one bag she takes home with her to grade papers and things, then as they lifted it from the floor onto the table two stapled sheets slipped out. No one seemed to notice but John just picked it up and set it on the table face down. Which was suspicious as he was usually really nosy. James picked it up to try and tuck it into some random folder he took a glance at it and gasped.
“What?”, I said

“Um look this is the...”, he tried to say

“That’s the sheet music!”, yelled John.

I sighed and it finally made sense in my head.

“Mrs.Will YOU took this!”, I figured out.

“That doesn’t make sense though!”, said James

“So it was you?”, I asked confused

“No, it was Mrs.Will!”, I finally resolved

“Yes, it was actually me, I hated that song from the beginning long and boring and when I saw the chance I took it”, she explained

“Click,click,click”, the sound of heels and I turned around to face the doorway and
there standing was our principal, Dr.Anderson she had a sad smile on her face almost unexplainable.

“Thanks for finding out who did it, I always valued Mr.Price’s work it was always congenial with everybody..”, she said and widened her smile a little.

“It was no problem”, I told her as I assented her gratitude.

“Anyway, Mrs.Willl may I speak with you in my office now?”,she asked rhetorically with an explicit tone.

Yet she lingered there until Mrs.Will began to follow her. I couldn’t help but feeling bad not just for Mrs.Heushckel but for Mr.Price wonder what he was going through then and there. All I could hope for was that we could see him again. At least at graduation. As that thought clogged my mind I forgot about the sheet music, we could honor Mr.Price by using his song for graduation as planned and I smiled. The thought of not playing that song had been a menace in the back of my mind.





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