Room of Doom

January 15, 2009
By Hannah Apple, Shelbyville, IL

When I was in Kindergarten, about seven years ago (I sound old now!), my dad always drove me to school in his giant, noisy vehicle. Some thought it was heaven coming to save them, but I called it an ambulance. He turned off the lights and sirens, unfortunately. The only reason he was able to drive an ambulance, was because he is a paramedic, or “ambulance driver” as all the other Kindergarteners called him. He drove the ambulance adroitly through the maze of vehicles that resembled Hot Wheels’ cars and we were the monster trucks. We drove past row after row of corn, corn, and (guess what) more corn. I clutched my Kim Possible backpack with the orange straps. I felt cool with my red pigtails and purple sweatshirt and sweat pants, but not that cool. I still was stressed. I may have been to school plenty of times, but it still made me nervous. I looked out the tiny, glazed-over window just in time to see two obnoxious high school students pushing each other. One fell on an innocent Kindergartener who was trying to get to school. They got up, laughed, and left like nothing happened.
Dad pulled over and turned around.
“Have a good day at school,” he smiled, as he opened the side door. I may have been young, but I could still tell he was trying to hide the recent pain he had felt about 9/11 behind his exuberant smile. He let me out and waved “goodbye”. The cold was nipping at my ears, as if trying to absorb all of my warmth. I sighed and let my breath disappear. Lucky, you don’t have to go to school, I thought to my breath (though, I don’t know who ever talks to their breath). Then, I joined my class. Usually, I cried about everything, like the rock that came out of nowhere and tripped me in front of everyone, but today, no tears came through my mind. I was too busy thinking, that and playing on the slide.
Later, my teachers came to get us from the outside playground.
“Come on in!” Mrs. Stabler, one of the Kindergarten teachers, shouted.
We ran in and shouted all the way to our classrooms.
“Settle down so we can read If You Give a Mouse a Cookie,” Mrs. Bunton, my Kindergarten teacher, shouted, once all of her students were accounted for.
“Yes, Mrs. Bunton,” we cried simultaneously.
We gathered on the colorful, clock rug. I always sat on three o’clock because 3 pm is 1500 and my birthday was on the fifteenth, thus becoming my favorite number. Anyway, I tried to listen to the story. I tried to.
Who cares about mice and cookies? Speaking of which, I ‘m pretty hungry, I thought to myself. I yawned inconspicuously, but still struggled to remain awake. No one seemed to notice my struggle, though.

Five minutes later, she was still reading. My eyelids drooped and I started to drift off…

“Hannah!” cried Mrs. Bunton.
My eyes shot open as I jerked upward.
“Yes,” I replied, holding back a yawn in fear.
“Could you ask Mrs. Kerney if I could borrow my daughter, Claire?” she asked.

Phew. I felt a sense of relief calm my nerves.
Thank goodness. I thought I was in trouble, I thought. I got up to leave, unknowing, unready for the Room of Doom.
Soon, I was in the hall, walking towards the room. My short, three foot, two inch self walked under the doorway. The smell of Glade Apple Cinnamon air freshener and Oreo cookies rushed in my nose like rockets. To my left were tons of colorful bins containing crayons and such. To my right was a silver set-in sink. They were safety barriers, protecting me until I passed them.
Once I pass these, I lose the safety I have from these hooligans, I sighed to myself. I walked on. Bad choice.
“Mrs. Bunton wants to borrow her daughter,” I informed her.
That was it. Mrs. Kerney laughed and her class joined in. My face was beyond beet red. I’ll bet it was as red as my curly pigtails. I couldn’t cry. I wouldn’t.
Why is this happening? What is so funny?
Claire, Mrs. Bunton’s daughter, got up and came over, but not soon enough.

Finally, when everyone stopped laughing, Claire and I walked back to the room.

The classroom’s once bright oranges and reds, were now grays and blacks to me.
“Thanks, Hannah. Please be seated,” Mrs. Bunton instructed.
“OK,” I sighed. Why? Why did they laugh? I don’t get it, I thought.
Mrs. Bunton and Claire talked for a long time. Finally I saw Claire’s blond hair bob out like a yellow Nerf ball.

I looked up at the clock, 8:30!
Today will be a long day.
Now that I’m older, I think I overreacted about being laughed at, but I still don’t get what was so funny about what I said.

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This article has 1 comment.

Auntie Jen said...
on Jan. 27 2009 at 4:36 pm
Hannah - you are absolutely brilliant! I'll have you write my biography someday! Love ya!

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