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Reading Circle or Glue?
“Sheridan, get up!” Mrs. Fishback said for the second time, looking at me quizzically.
“I can’t.” I replied, repeating her same cool and calm.
“Why not?” She said, looking straight at my best friend Sam this time. I turned my neck and shoulders to look at him too, daring him to tell, although his eyes gave it away.
“Um…well,” Sam looked at me, his eyes pleading. He wouldn’t last. “Well…” he continued, “Glue.” I took a huge gulp.
“What do you mean, glue?” Mrs.Fishback stared at me, her eyes big and disapproving, knowing that I was the ringleader of this circus. I mean, I always was.
“We glued ourselves.” I calmly replied, as it was the most normal thing a 6 year old would do, like drinking milk. Mrs.Fishback’s eyes immediately darted to the craft center, and counted the glue bottles and sticks. I saw the flash when she realized that one bottle was missing. Why a bottle? Because a stick couldn’t possibly glue to the power that I would need it to. Her eyes turned back to mine, and I could tell that she was mad, yet she remained looking as sweet as honey with peanut butter. That was actually like the color of her big, prying eyes. The way her eyes stared at you, big and serene, made you almost regret what you had done. Almost.
“Glued yourselves to what, may I ask?” Mrs. Fishback managed out, breaking each syllable into pieces, piecing together the last bits of the puzzle in her mind.
“The chairs,” I replied, with a ‘duh’ factor carefully implied. Mrs. Fishback calmly glided over to the phone near the door. In the one second she was looking away, I turned to Sam. He was shaking miserably in that little chair, for no known reason. There was nothing wrong with what we, well, I did. I turned back, wondering why I glued him in the first place. Oh, yeah…
I really don’t like reading circle. Some might say I hate it, but don’t tell my mom that, I’m not allowed to use ‘harsh’ words. I mean, all we do is sit around in a circle on the floor, and listen to the teacher read boring books. You can tell that they’re boring if it only takes the teacher five minutes to read them. This morning as I was dreading reading circle, I came up with an ingenious plot. I still take pride in the complexity of the trick I pulled. I whispered it to my friend Sam, who quickly agreed to do it with me. I snuck over while we were saying the Pledge of Allegiance to the craft table, and grabbed a bottle of glue. I calmly walked back to our table and put the glue under my chair, just when Mrs. Fishback turned around to check that our hands were on our hearst, not anywhere else. She turned back around, and I hastily grabbed the glue.
“You ready?” I’d asked Sam earlier.
“Yeah, but hurry, she might turn around.”
“Yeah, yeah, yeah. I never get caught, do I?’’
“No…” He replied, still wary. I rolled my eyes, and prepared to commit the biggest prank in my life; although it was simple, I took a deep breath, and squeezed the glue all over his chair. It was an unbreakable bond. I turned, and looked at Mrs. Fishback, who was standing in the doorway, talking to Mrs. Wharton. They would be there forever. I turned and squeezed hard over mine too, but less glue, because he was bigger.
“One…two…three!” I whispered, and we both sat down. I felt the cool glue pressing on my corduroys, and it was cold. It felt so cool though, to have all that glue underneath me. It didn’t feel that way now, because it was hard though.
My memories of this morning came to a halt, as my fine ear pulled in Mrs. Fishback’s phone conversation. Years of eavesdropping pays off.
“Yes, Mr. Stein…mm hmm, yes how are you?” Mrs. Fishback seemed to be having a friendly phone conversation, but she looked bored with the small talk. As if on cue, she continued, “I’m swell, thank you. I hate to interrupt, but we have some…” she looked right at our desks, and I quickly looked away and started laughing, as if Sam had said something hilarious. This would have worked too, if he wasn’t shaking, and sweating like a pig. Why was Mrs.Fishback calling Mr. Stein anyways? He can’t do anything about the glue. Why can’t we just do something else?
“Calm down!” I leaned over and whispered to him. “What are you so nervous about anyways?” No response.
“N…n…n…no….nothing,” he replied, finally. Like I was going to believe that. I sighed, and tuned my ear once again to Mrs. Fishback’s voice.
“Yes, I’m so glad that you understand these circumstances.” She put the phone receiver down, and walked over to where we were sitting, now the only ones at the tables, everyone on the carpet for reading circle. Blech. “Now, Sheridan, Sam, can you get up?”
“No.” I replied, not even bothering to try. We glued ourselves for a reason, so we couldn’t get up. I glanced at Sam, whose face was now full of panic.
“I…I… I can’t!” He exclaimed. Oh really. That’s what glue means.
“Sheridan, try.” Mrs. Fishback said, like she was tired of hearing her own voice. I put my hands on the table and pushed up with all of my might. I knew it was worthless, and I was right, I couldn’t get up, even if I wanted too. Mrs. Fishback sighed, as the janitor walked in.
He had to stoop to fit in the doorway, and he wore his hair in a ponytail, like he was a girl. His shirts always seemed to be too small, because of his giant torso and arms. Mrs. Fishback would say they were made of steel, but that’s impossible, because every human is squishy, like my daddy. Mrs. Fishback said that he used to be in the military, but I don’t believe her. I think he just was in jail. He looked over and immediately knew the problem, thanks to the little wuss sitting next to me. He really had to stop shaking and trying to pull himself out, it was impossible.
Mrs. Fishback walked over to him and whispered something in his ear. Without a single glance at her, Mr. Stein walked over to us. He stood looming over me, casting a giant shadow that covered me. Without a word of hellos, which I thought was really rude; he leaned over and scooped my chair up. He leaned down once more, and I thought he was going to drop me, but he just picked up Sam. This was so cool. Mr. Stein was walking, carrying us on his shoulders, I felt like a princess. I scrape a piece of glue from the side of my chair and pop it in my mouth. Mmm… now I really feel like a princess. He carried us out of the door; I wonder where he is taking us. I turn my head and realized my teacher was right behind us, and she actually looked mad, and mean! I did not think that was possible. Mr. Stein set us down gently on the carpet hall, like a true gentleman. Maybe he wasn’t so scary after all.
Mr. Stein walked over to me and picked up my arms like they were noodles. “123,” he said. He pulled on my arms harder than I thought was possible.
“Hey!” I yelled. “That hurts, I think you broke my shoulder!”
“Oh, I’m so sorry, little girl.” He said. But he kept pulling, so hard. I saw Sam sitting there fearing that he was next, which of course he was. I felt my pants sliding, I was slipping off. Darn it, I thought. POP! Suddenly my chair fell to the ground, but I was still hanging by my shoulders in thin air. Mr. Stein set me down gently, and moved on to Sam.
I looked at my chair, and saw the ridges from my corduroys stuck to the glue. I twisted my neck and shoulders to look at my butt, where there had been glue. Oh no, I thought. It was completely shiny. I took my sweater off from over my t-shirt, and swiftly tied it around my waist, hiding the shiny part. I turned back around, wondering why I hadn’t heard anything. Sam was still dangling, with his chair stuck to his butt.
“We’ll have to soak him,” Mr. Stein said gravely, “You call his mom, and he’ll need new pantaloons.” I almost doubled-over at the word pantaloons, I don’t even know what it means but it was funny.
“Yes, Mr. Stein.” Mrs. Fishback solidly replied. Even she was afraid of him at sometimes, I think. She walked over to the phone, and dialed Mrs. Jacobs’ number. Mrs. Fishback told Mrs. Jacobs the whole story how she thought of it, and Mrs. Jacobs agreed to come up to the school with a new pair of pants for Sam.
Eventually, Sam came back to class with a new pair of pants on. I wonder what happened to his old ones. I looked out the door, and saw a chair with a pair of pants still attached to them. You know, maybe I shouldn’t have used as much glue. Anyways, the rest of the day went through as planned, boring, boring, and boring. The only thing different was that Sam didn’t talk to me. I don’t know why. At the end of the day, I got on my bus, and no one said a word about what happened. I was pretty happy with myself, at least today wasn’t as boring as the rest.
When I got home my mom was in the kitchen, like she always is, ready to make a snack. “Oh, good, you’re home! What do you want for sna…?” She turned around and wore a perplexed look on her face, staring at my jacket. I started to back away, thinking that she would think that I messed my pants, and I could run upstairs and change before she said anything. Her eyes changed from doting mother to suspicious. She stepped over to me and took my jacket away from my waist. She walked around me slowly, and I froze in position, my mother swiftly grasped my jacket, pulled it off in her hands, and her eyes dropped at the sight of the back of my corduroys. She exclaimed, “Why are the back of your pants so shiny? Where are the cords?!” I detected faint sadness in her voice, but mostly anger.
“Well, um…, glue.” I said, and darted up the stairs before she could say another word.