I heard my teacher, Ms. Rupert, yell my name as if she had been trying to get my attention for a ten seconds or so. I was prone to nodding off or day-dream when I was younger, perhaps due to some type of undiagnosed ADD or something. I was always a pain in my teacher’s ass, coach’s ass, referee’s ass, or parent’s ass, but we will get to those asses later.
“Yes!”, I respond in a voice that was definitely too loud but, in my defense, was only in response to her volume.
“I need you to take something to the office for me”, she says in a pleasant voice, ignoring my obviously inappropriate tone. She handed me a paper with words on it that I did not care to read. “Don’t get lost, ok”, the class giggled and I gave an awkward chuckle as well. I had the tendency of walking around the halls without a purpose. I was a wondered. Whether it was a series of hallways and staircases or the intricacies of my mind, I was always wondering around.
I left with the piece of paper for the principles office. My classroom was located on the ground floor, so it wasn’t that long of a walk towards my destination. I did, however, manage to use the entire hallway. I walked in zigzags touching both sides of the hallway. I read all the standard hall posters that I had read before. This was all part of my wondering complex. Sometimes I would go to the bathroom and just sit on the toilet, reading words on the stall door written by people who had come before.
Encouraging posters laced the walls. They were simple statements like A+, or GREAT JOB, or YOUR AWESOME. I imagine that this is how most elementary schools were decorated. The walls also had signs on them that were safety reminders such as DONT RUN, WALK. The school administrators must have thought that putting encouraging statements all around the school would boost our self-esteem or something. Looking back on it, school officials should probably have actually paid attention to the kids instead of simply always telling them they were AWESOME. But that is neither here nor there. Yet again, I am wondering my mind, lost in my thoughts.
So after taking about five minutes to walk 50 feet from the class room to the principles office I arrived with paper in hand. I walked into the office and the secretary wasn’t there, so I sat down in the reception chair. To me, this was just another excuse to miss more class. It was still early in the school year but I was done with school. I wanted summer again. I missed being outside from sunrise to sunset. I missed lifting up rocks to find slugs and baking mud pies in the summer sun. I had just learned how to ride my foot brake bike with no arms. I could not only go straight with no arms, but I could turn and go up hills with no arms. I considered myself to be pretty skilled. I missed playing with my friend Robbie. We grew up together. He lived next door to me on South Pearl Street. We did everything together. I always had him over for sleep overs and video games. But that was over. He moved away that summer and my life was different. The kid who moved into where he lived was my younger brothers age. I had lost my best friend that summer and, seemingly, my identity. We were brothers from different mothers. We didn’t care what other people said about us because we knew we would always have each other’s back. That all ended that summer. School wasn’t the same without Robbie in my class.
As I was waiting in the principal’s office I happened to look over at the Television. I couldn’t really make out what the pictures were on the screen because it was literally a 5 inch screen with static filled antennae reception. I couldn’t even pick out words. All I gathered from what I saw, or didn’t see, and hear, or couldn’t hear, was that it was important. When I squinted my eyes I was able to make out the time on the screen. It read 9:15, which meant that I had been out of class for ten minutes, and I hadn’t even started the journey back yet. I forgot about the TV and went back to waiting for the receptionist to come out. I guess I could have just left the paper on the desk and left but that just wasn’t my style.
After another minute or so of counting holes in the ceiling, the receptionist came out of the office with a distressed look on her face. I stood up as she sat down at her seat. She looked at me, putting a fake smile on. I handed her the paper and told her which teacher it came from. She thanked me hurriedly and went to pick up the phone. I however, oblivious to the social cue that told me to go away, interrupted her.
“Hey.” I said, probably too loud yet again.
“Yes…”, the lady said semi-annoyed.
“What is on the T.V?”, I asked curiously. I am not sure if I asked because I was truly curious about what was occurring on the T.V or if I was trying to buy more time out of class.
The receptionist looked at me for a few second then began, “Well…two planes…”