Missing a Question Question Isn't Always a Bad Thing...

December 9, 2009
The whispering of 35 pencils on paper was deafening. I hated this part of the day. When the kids in the classroom were actually calm enough to just sit and work, only speaking to the people around them when it was absolutely necessary and even then they made sure that their words would only be heard by each other.

So there I was, stuck in the middle of this incessant chatter. A blanket of unintelligible conversation wrapped around my ears so tightly that it was all I could do not to sprint out of the classroom door screaming bloody murder. Just to break the silence.

Of course, I didn't, don't worry. I'm not that crazy. I just hate the silence. Some people love it. Actually, most people love it, but I guess I'm not most people.

I'm one of the best students in my class even though I doze the entire time. I don't know exactly how it works but the second my name is called I snap to attention and I almost always know the answer to the question. I guess I'm just lucky.

If you noticed the “almost” I threw in there, then good for you. I “almost” always know the answer. The only time I don't know the answer is when something weird is going to happen, which here in Orono High, is very rare. So you can imagine my surprise when, after I walked into my next class three minutes late, I got a seemingly easy question, wrong.

“Do you have any idea what time it is Mr. Shawell?” My English teacher, Ms. Fetching asked in an “I-know-that-you-know-what-time-it-is-and-that-you're-late-but-I-have-to-say-this-because-it-makes-me-sound-like-I-care” kind of voice. To which I replied. “It's 12:45 and I'm 5 minutes late.”

The whole class stared at me in disbelief. Confused, I checked the clock on the wall above the white board.

12:43, it was 12:43. How did I not know it was 12:43? I always knew when I got to class. I swore I had a stop watch in my brain.

I looked at the clock, then at my shoes, then at the shiny cement floor as I walked to my desk at the back of the room. I sat there with a bewildered look on my face until the lunch bell rang.

My backpack felt heavier than usual as I made my way to the cafeteria, it wasn't, but it felt like it. Same went for my head, I had a hard time keeping it above my shoulders. So when I got to my usual table over in a corner of the sea of tables that filled the cafeteria, eating didn't even cross my mind. I just sat there, with my head on the table, staring blankly at the dirty plaster covered wall.

I remained in this zombie like state all day. Slowly trudging though an invisible wall of mud that didn't seem to effect anyone but me. The invisible mud might have slowed my legs but it didn't slow my brain...at all. A thousand possibilities whizzed through my brain, one after another. So fast I could barely understand my own thoughts.

What was going to happen? What amazing, fantastical thing was so strange that it had made me mess up the answer to a simple question? Maybe it wasn't a good thing. Maybe it was a terrible, horrifying thing. Like two years ago, when that new girl disappeared only three months after she arrived. I had missed a question then too.

I really hope it isn't anything like that again. I thought to myself and shivered.

When I finally got home after what could have been the longest school day of my life, I was almost human again. The cool wind of an overcast day had woken me up a bit during my bike ride home.

I put away my bike and walked through the front door. I found my mom making dinner in the kitchen as she always does. I made sure she saw me come in and then headed to my room. My name, Jason, was still carved into the door frame. Not that I was surprised, it had been there ever since I wrote it there with a marker after my mom and I moved here 11 years ago. I was afraid I would forget where my room was. I was five after all.

My room was as plain and unexciting as ever. With only my two landscape pictures on the wall, my laptop computer sitting neatly on my metal desk and my bed sitting just as neatly in the far right corner next to the the only even mildly interesting thing in my room, the window.

I was tired from hours of zombie-ing through my whole day of school. So I decided to take a nap before dinner. It turned out to be more than a nap though because I woke up the next morning with the last night's dinner on my bedside table.

I got ready for school in record time. I didn't want to miss the weirdness that was sure to occur at anytime now. My mom was already at work so I just grabbed a banana from the bowl on the counter and raced out the door to my bike.

I got to school in record time too. But I still just barely made it before the late bell rang.

I fell into my chair at exactly 7:59 with one minute to spare. Just enough time to make myself look like I'd been there for hours and never even thought of being late. (A trick I picked up in fourth grade).

The teacher ,Mr. Callego, came into class just as the bell rang. He had a suspiciously happy look on his face. I feared for the worst. “Hello, class” Mr. Callego said with a smile.

“Oh no” I whispered.

“Before we get started today” he said.

“This can't be good” I said. Cringing inside my head but not letting it leak into my features or expressions.

“We have a new student!”

I let out my held breath. A new student, definitely not as bad as I expected. Mr. Callego opened the door to let the new kid in. A million images of people who could walk through that dirty white door flashed into my brain all at once. But I never could have imagined who walked into the classroom at that very moment.

The air sparkled as she entered the room. Which was weird, because I'd never seen air sparkle before, but it did now. That should have been enough of a hint, but I could never have guessed what was going to happen next, and what she was going to have to do with it.

Join the Discussion

This article has 1 comment. Post your own now!

NeverEnoughTime said...
Dec. 30, 2009 at 9:25 pm
Hey everybody! Yeah I know I put the word "Question" twice in the title. I you could ignore that until I find a way to either fix it or re-upload this story all together that would be great. Please enjoy the story anyway! :)
bRealTime banner ad on the left side
Site Feedback