Friday, March 19, 2010


[English narrative handed in yesterday morning... and a true story]

Rayne-bowe” she confidently labeled her crooked-looking drawing in her crooked-looking handwriting.
“That’s not how you spell it,” I said.
Emily frowned. “I don’t care,” she said while continuing to write haphazardly in the black crayon she was gripping. She was documenting a witches’ spell that we wanted to try during tomorrow’s recess. We planned to use a magic wand that I had recovered from the playground the day before. Emily told me that every spell we did absolutely needed to involve rainbows, but I think she just liked drawing them. I let out a long sigh and pretended not to notice the other misspellings she was making.
I turned and squinted at the bright sun, its warm rays thawing the playground of any and all traces of winter. It was an unusually warm spring day, and it had already put the entire elementary school in summer-mode. Half of the kids that came to school that day had already traded in their boots for jelly sandals and flip-flops, even though going outside without a jacket would have been unthinkable just last week.
Toot toooooot!” the recess aid’s whistle sounded. Two whistles meant that recess was over and we had line up at the door immediately. Or else. We all obediently scampered over like trained dogs, ready to go to lunch. I snagged a spot in the line next to Stefan, my Other Best Friend, so we would be able to eat lunch together. I waved hello and he returned the gesture with a gap-toothed grin.
The recess aide, Miss Miller, had been staring at her clipboard for a good amount of time and we had already become antsy. She turned to say something inaudible to the other recess aide, Mrs. Berry. Mrs. Berry was much pudgier than the other recess aides, and we would always say things like, “Mrs. Berry’s a berry!” We thought that it was the wittiest thing ever, considering her berry-like shape.
Impatiently, I began to rock back and forth on my heels, watching satisfyingly as the pink lights on the side of my shoes glowed each time that they hit the pavement. It took a good amount of convincing on my part to get my mom to buy me the velcro-strapped sparkly shoes. “But all the Cool Girls are wearing them!” I remember whining to her as if it was actually a reasonable argument.
Mrs. Berry and Miss Miller didn’t look like they were going to let us in any time soon, and the rest of Mrs. Clark’s class and I had already become bored. I began to let my eyes wander, and I suddenly spotted a stray piece of blue chalk on the sidewalk. I quickly jumped to snatch it before someone else could. Chalk on the playground was the equivalent of gold, and it was important to treat it as such if you weren’t lucky enough to grab a piece at the beginning of recess.
Out of boredom, I began to shade in one of the red bricks on the side of the building. I watched as the small crevices filled with the dark blue dust and I had nearly filled in the entire brick before I was interrupted.
“Kay, did you do that?” I heard a voice ask sternly. I whipped around and looked up to see Miss Miller. She had her hands on her hips, clearly trying to look authoritative. I nodded quickly, unsure of how else to react. She scowled and scribbled something on her clipboard. She was a grumpy one, that Miss Miller.
I shrugged it off and shoved the chalk into the front pocket of my overalls as the class finally began to slowly file inside the elementary school.

It was later in the afternoon, and I was happily drawing a picture of a flower using a Carnation Pink crayon from Emily’s 64-pack. Everyone always sucked up to Emily to get a chance to use her crayons, and it was mostly why she was my Best Friend. Best Friends always get first dibs on stuff like that.
I was carefully shading in one of the petals when I heard a click-clacking noise approaching my desk. I glanced over to see a pair of black pinched-looking shoes. They looked painful. “Kay,” the owner of the pinched-looking shoes said. I looked up to see my teacher, Mrs. Clark, looking back at me. She was firmly gripping her foam coffee cup in her manicured hands. She liked carrying her coffee with her everywhere, and I was always afraid she would spill it on someone if she wasn’t careful enough.
“Mhm?” I mumbled, acknowledging her presence.
“Can you come with me?” she asked.
“Um, okay,” I agreed, not having the slightest clue what this could possibly be about. She led me into the quiet hallway, her tight shoes making that click-clacking noise they always did. We finally approached an ominous-looking door at the end of a hall. I swallowed hard, remembering a few times that I had seen some Bad Kids go down there to “have a chat” with our principal, Mrs. Stern.
“Am I in trouble?” I asked. Mrs. Clark didn’t say anything. Instead, she proceeded to walk through the door and into a brighter-looking, sterile-smelling room where Mrs. Stern was sitting patiently at her desk. I noticed that her face was even more pinched than Mrs. Clark’s shoes. She had a mass of wig-like neatly combed red hair on her head, and she was wearing a black business suit. She was kind of scary, for a principal.
“Here she is,” said Mrs. Clark with a malicious smile. Crazy lady, I thought to myself.
I took a seat in one of the gray, cushy-looking chairs in front of her desk. The room had no pictures or anything hanging on the walls, and the only papers that littered her desk looked to me like death sentences for children that cut in the lunch line. Mrs. Stern laced her fingers together and leaned forward on her desk. “So you drew on the school walls?”
“Outside! Using sidewalk chalk! It will come out when it rains!” I sputtered randomly, hoping she would realize that it was just a misunderstanding or something. I had never gotten in trouble before, and for all I knew she could have the ability to take away line-leader privileges from the kids who did bad things. And that would be just plain terrible.
She frowned, apparently not understanding my pleas. “Kay, vandalism is a crime. Against the rules. Do you understand?” she snapped. I stared at her blankly, not knowing what vandalism was or why it was relevant. She ignored my confused looks and continued with her banter. “… and I am afraid that you will have to face the consequences.”
I shook myself from my dazed state. “What?”
“Tomorrow, you will spend your recess cleaning off those walls that you drew on,” she told me, ignoring the pre-crying noises that the back of my throat was making. “I’ll tell Mrs. Clark to remember to have you stop by the janitor’s office beforehand to get a bucket and a sponge.” She satisfyingly crossed her arms over her chest, and I think that she was pleased with herself.

I bolted back to my classroom, thoughts racing through my head. …Sentenced to washing off the walls tomorrow during recess? Could she have possibly picked anything more embarrassing? I could just imagine everyone staring at me. I would become one of the Bad Kids, and never get to be the line leader for the rest of my life. The gross, soapy water would roll down my arms as I reached for the parts of the colored brick wall that I didn’t even color myself. I would want to melt into the concrete. I would want to tell my mom. I would want to tear off Mrs. Stern’s stupid hair. I would want to cry.

But I didn’t, because it rained the next day.


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