But now. Now was the moment I had been dreading.
They were coming. I just knew it. They would be coming for me. Just like every other day. Except this day I would not be able to outrun them. Not for two whole blocks. I just couldn't. Not while carrying this big box. What was I going to do? What could I do?
My stomach twisted and turned inside me. My palms were sweating. I put my fore head down on my desk and let my long hair splay out around me like a big brown mop hiding my face. A burning flush started to creep up my neck to my face and I couldn't help it. I couldn't stop it. The tears started to fall.
I quietly wrapped my arms around my head so no one could see me crying. Oh why didn't I just bring my teddy bear for show and tell? I'd have a chance with my teddy bear but this was going to be impossible.
Suddenly there was a hand on my back. I froze.
I heard her gray wool skirt move as she knelt down beside me.
"What's wrong, Kathy? Why are you crying?" she asked.
I sniffed my nose as subtly as I could and kept my head down on my desk with my arms still shielding me.
"I'm okay." I answered mortified. How could I let my favorite teacher in the whole wide world see my crying?
"Is there something wrong?" she asked again.
"Well. I just... I don't know what to do." I broke down.
"Tell me." she said gently.
"Well, every day on the way home from school Trent and Bobby chase me. Sometimes I can outrun them. But sometimes they catch me. And when they catch me they make me hold their hands all the way home. A lot of times I am faster than them, cuz I'm pretty fast, but I can't run faster than them today because I've got to carry my guinea pig! And if they catch me and make me hold their hands I'm gonna drop her! I just know it! And I can't run with Piggy because then she will bounce all around and I don't want to hurt her! And I know they are gonna chase me today because they told me so! I don't want to drop her! I don't know what to do!" I cried desperately.
"Well I tell you what we are going to do, Kathy. I'm going to have Bobby and Trent help me clean the blackboards after school for ten or fifteen minutes and that should give you plenty of time to get home. How does that sound?" she said with a smile in her voice.
Slowly I lifted my head, feeling relief gush out of me.
"That sounds good." I said, finally able to break a smile.
Just then the bell rang. I jumped up, wiped the tears from my eyes with the back of my sleeve, and got my red, hand-me-down windbreaker jacket on as quickly as I could. I swiftly checked my shoes to make sure I tied them good and tight. I certainly didn't want anything tripping me up today. I ran over to the window sill grabbed my beloved Piggy in her box and headed to the door. As I got to the doorway I glanced back at my teacher and gave her my best smile. She winked at me and waved me out the door. Just as I was leaving I heard her say, "Trent and Bobby? Would you help me?"
The sun was warm on my back as I cautiously walked down the sidewalk holding the large cardboard box that my mom had given me to carry Piggy. Every few steps I would cautiously look behind me just to make sure no one was following me. But I was safe. They would not follow me today.
"Wasn't that the best day ever, Piggy?" I asked as I looked down into the box. "I just knew it would be."
This week's RemembeRED assignment was to write a memoir about kindergarten and I thought I'd give it a try. It is my first time joining in, so be gentle.
It was a toss up between writing this story or writing about the time this same favorite teacher of mine dressed up as a witch for April Fool's Day and told us she was our new teacher (a la the book Mrs. Nelson Is Missing). She was an AWESOME teacher. Let's hear it for awesome and memorable teachers, y'all! Woot woot!