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Peppermint Rule Breaking
You slip into the classroom, back hunched, your eyes slits that take in everything around you. You don’t miss a single detail.
You drop into a seat and scribble meaningless words in your tattered diary. You forget where you are.
The teacher drones on about positive correlation between something ridiculous and something absurd. You won’t ever need to know why.
The boy in front of you scratches his head with the back of his HB pencil. Flakes of dandruff float to the floor and you are both repulsed and fascinated at the same time.
Tic-tic goes that infuriating watch your parents bought you for Christmas. You don’t even like it.
You breathe in and out, watching as your breath becomes a cloud before your face. You think they should fix the heating.
Pins and needles crawl up your left leg and your hand is cramping from all the doodling. You jig up and down in your chair like a kid.
You tie your hair up in a ponytail. Then you take it back down and a few minutes later you tie it in a bun. But you end up just letting it fall like sheet over your face once more.
The teacher asks you a question. You just give him a blank look until he moves on.
You write a message on the desk for the next bored student to read. It’s too vulgar to repeat.
You pour the contents of your pencil case onto the table and build a fortress out of markers and erasers. The teacher glares at you, so you knock it all down with one quick shove.
You raise your hand and tap your foot impatiently as the teacher purposely ignores you. You ask if you can go to the bathroom.
An annoyed yes and a roll of the eyes later, you are wandering the empty hallways with your hands stuffed in your pockets and your worn chucks scuffing the ugly yellow tiles. You hum a little tune.
Ten minutes later you shuffle back to class and listen to the onslaught from your teacher. You just smile and say loudly, ‘It’s my time of the month.’ That shuts him up.
You’ve made a paperclip chain. You wear it around your neck and then pretend to strangle yourself. The other kids give you strange looks.
A note makes its way into your hand. It says Susie on the front, not your name; you open it anyway ignoring the indignant cry from the boy with the dandruff sitting in front of you.
‘Susie, will you go out with me?’
You snort and chuck the piece of paper towards Susie Beaumont with a wink. She blushes and scribbles an answer. The note does not get passed your way this time.
You contemplate the length of time you spend sitting in this chair. Too much time is what you conclude.
You stack your books on your desk so as the teacher won’t see you pull out your phone. You take a quick snap of yourself and send it to your friend.
You dig around in your bag blindly until you come up with a stick of gum. Ah, the joys of peppermint rule breaking.
Chew, chew, chew. You feel so rebellious until the teacher orders you to spit the gum out, then you feel a little bit stupid.
The teacher’s voice becomes the music to your life. You try to add a little rhythm by tapping your pencil on the desk.
Stop talking, you want to scream. You count down the minutes until the end of class.
You lean forward a little in your chair, legs braced and back arched. You are so impatient and irritated and intolerant and irksome. ‘I’ words are the best way to describe this feeling, you know.
The bell rings, you leap to your feet and race out the door without a backward glance. It’s probably the fastest you’ve moved all day.
You forget you have to be back here next Monday.