I remember when my teacher called on me and I didn't know the answer.
She skipped over Adam, Sammi, and Grace whose hands were flying back and forth yearning for her to call on them, but no, she picked me. I was never more embarrassed in my life.
This was the on-a-giant-stage-in-your-underwear-while-trying-to-spell-
supercalifragilisticexpialidocious-in-the-school-spelling-bee embarrassed. This is worst than the sound of nails scraping a chalkboard for three hours long. It was the sound of screeching laughter but not the funny kind, the cruel cackling laughter of the Joker when he killed Jason Todd by beating him to a bloody pulp with a silver pipe. It was a mustard yellow color that resembles three day old urine or my dog's vomit after he broke into our stash of Tootsie Rolls.
She lingered over me, staring me down as if she could scare the
answer out of my mouth and the anticipation felt like skinny jeans that are too loose to stay on just right but too tight to be worn any other way. The song I Hate Everyone thundering in my head as I felt the class’s eyes grow wider, waiting for the answer that would never come. It not smelled like a batch of perfectly baked brownies right out of the oven, but instead reeks of three month old milk. It was the spoon that bent in the dishwasher so when I try to slurp my soup it dribbles over my lap.
It was as awkward as an unequal trapezoid during an impossible geometry equation. I felt as if I was in the painting Scream as my stomach twisted and turned. I wish I could say it reminded me of the beautiful emerald palm trees along the Costa Rican coast. It didn’t. I could only see the foggy windy city surrounded by garbage, vehicle exhaust, and irritated people in a rush for work. It was the grotesque monkfish wading away in the shallow murky waters of the Atlantic.
My friends begin to nudge me as if to push the answer out of my mouth but nothing would come. My skin burned as hot as the middle of a forest fire in California and I knew my cheeks were the color of a bright new stop sign. I felt as if I was going on a family road trip for two weeks while only driving a smart car. It felt as cold as the slippery sleek ice a car's tire would screech on, leaving skid marks while slamming on the breaks.
Here it came. The awful word that I was dreading so much. “Guess,” My
teacher insisted. As if it couldn't get any worse. The room seemed to turn gray as if all the colors were vacuumed up and shipped away. I would have thought I was in an old black and white movie by how the gray washed over. I tried to speak but an overwhelming taste of three day old chicken legs spilled into my mouth. I felt powerless, like a fly stuck in a spiderweb waiting for death to come. Why did she have to call on me?