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Thursday, December 21, 2006

Well, I did this for a class so read it please. note: this was a real experience.

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The day started like any other. I woke up and rolled out of bed, of course after hitting the snooze on my alarm 5 times. As always, I got up around 5:30 and made myself a breakfast of scrambled eggs with ham and cheese. Half way through making it, I turned on the stereo as usual. Same band, same dreary day, same old routine. And yet, I had a feeling of foreboding as I ate breakfast while listening to the lyrics of my favorite song.

ďEveryone knows Iím in
Over my head, over my head.Ē

I really didnít know what was gonna happen, but I knew it wasnít good.

ďLetís rearrange.
I wish you were a stranger
I could disengage.
Just say that we agree
And the never change.
Soften a bit until we
All just get along.Ē

Whenever I listen to music it calms me down. I listen to it every morning so I can deal with school in the following hours. I knew that there was a test in Kesslerís class, I hadnít really studied. I didnít need to. Weíd studied and gone over things so many times that I almost had it committed to memory. Well, the main parts anyways.

As I walked into school I was absolutely neutral as always. My day couldíve gone either way. I greeted my best friends Minda (Melinda Robinson) and Alex Roberson, and we waited for the Bob-twit, Bobby Erikson, Mindaís boyfriend. They made such a good couple. I wasnít worried about P.E. in fact, I was sort of looking forward to it, which for me is a huge shocker. Mostly, P.E. is one of my least favorite classes, though itís closely followed by English with Mrs. Eccles and her graphic organizers and group notes. But today we were swimming, a sport that was one of my favorites. I always feel so at ease in the water, whether it was because Iím a Pisces or not, I couldnít care less.

But swimming ended too quickly. I had finally faced my fear and gone off the high dive. It might sound strange, but Iím absolutely petrified of heights, even though Iím tall. My friends make fun of me for it, heck, I wonít even go on a Ferris Wheel because they rock back and forth. It makes me nervous. But all the same, I was disappointed that it was over so soon.

Choir passed by slowly. I used to enjoy it greatly, but now, too many idiots and bratty girls. I got in trouble for reading and I didnít think that it was fair. People around me sniped at me just because Mr. Edmundson thought that class was moving too slow. Why is it that people always use me and my reading to determine whether class is going too slow or not? Iím a bookworm. Everyone knows that. People tell me Iím pretty, what with my long blond hair, my slate-blue eyes, and my height. I always find a way to contradict them. Iím bad and short-tempered, I hold grudges, Iím stand-offish (is that even a word?), I donít automatically respect someone unless in my eyes they deserve it, my skin is constantly broken out, and I usually stay away from people who donít think like me, or I just wonít make contact sometimes. The point is, I could find ten million things wrong with me, but I donít hate myself. I donít think that Iím gorgeous either. What teenager does? I think that Iím just fine.

But readingís just a habit. And we were waiting for a sign-up to come around, so I sat down to read. And he sped the class up because of that. I nearly cried because of something that Andrťa said to me. I used to be very fragile, but Iíve gotten better. People just donít really interest me. At least, not many.

The other periods went by without a hitch. At lunch the school food was terrible, but Iím too lazy to make my own. Not lazy really, more not enough time than anything. After lunch we went down to the library. Looked at books, talked, normal stuff.

Then it was fourth period. I had no idea what was about to ensue. At the beginning of class Kessler, well, if you want to be all technical about it, itís Mr. Kessler, but I just call him Kessler, clarified that we could only use one note card. I didnít really need it, but I laid it out just in case. The test was fairly easy. I only had trouble with the question about comparing and contrasting the Richter and Mercalli Scales, but I was sure that I had gotten it right. I turned around and noticed that not many people were done so I opened my book and waited. Kessler had stated that only one person at a time could be at his desk. So I waited. After awhile, I couldnít focus on my book anymore. I turned around again. Eric Nordin, Erik Rakestraw, and Rosa, I have no idea what her last name is, were all done and waiting eagerly. I was about to get up when Erik got up and walked over. This made me a bit mad. I motioned to Eric that it was my turn next. That I had been done first. He disagreed and motioned that whoever got there next, got there next.

Erik got back, but someone else was quicker. I canít remember who it was, but I think that it was Rex Renfro. I wasnít paying attention though, because Erik came back and started to brag about how he had gotten full credit. He kept whispering about how I couldnít get more than him and how heíd done so well. But now no one was at Kesslerís desk so I got up and hurried over there. As soon as it seemed that I was going to get there first, Shawn Brown stepped in front of me. I couldnít believe the nerve of this guy! I was probably done before he was and I probably had been waiting longer! Kessler scolded him, saying that it was rude of him and that he should let me go ahead. But I shook my head. Just because he had been rude didnít mean that I had to be. I told him that it was all right and to go ahead. I shouldnít have been so polite and shouldíve just taken that chance. After Shawn, I let Rosa go in front of me. She was a nice girl.

But just then, Eric did something outrageously funny and I laughed. My laugh is unique because it doesnít make any noise when Iím really laughing. Then Kessler told me to come up to his desk.

A feeling of dread filled me. It didnít seem logical at first. I hadnít uttered a single word, so why should I be scared? But I had good reason to be. It seemed to go in slow motion as he marked a zero on my paper. I was in shock. As I walked back to my desk it didnít seem like it was possible. But as I sat down, it sank in. I, Colleen Elaine Gray, one of the smartest kids in school, had gotten a zero on a huge test. One that where if an A+ student got fifty percent on it, it would take them down to a D. I felt the tears well up in my eyes. I held them back for as long as I could, but they came anyway. I pulled my hair out of my ponytail and let it fall like a golden curtain over my face to hide my shame and humiliation. I remember thinking over and over again that I was going to fail a class, thinking about how disappointed my parents would be, especially my dad, my dad the teacher. Iíd gone and ruined my good name and it was more than I could handle.

The period seemed to drag on into forever. I was sure that I would never escape the eyes of my peers. Every time my tears seemed to slow, a new wave of grief, despair, and misery swept over me, bringing more tears with it. Kessler called me over again, but I didnít want to move. I couldnít understand why he couldnít just leave well enough alone. Hadnít he humiliated me enough? But I got up anyways. He gave me a tissue and said a few words that I couldnít comprehend at the time. It didnít matter. Nothing mattered. I had failed and was going to fail a class and there was no escape from my humiliation and shame. I wanted to run, to get out of there and hide. Somewhere where I couldnít be found, where no one could see my tears and shame, or find me in my despair.

Finally, after what seemed like hours, the bell rang. It was all I could do to keep from running out of there and hiding somewhere off of school grounds. But no, the girlís bathroom would have to do. I went in and sat on the cool hard floor, and I started to cry even more. Not holding anything back I started to bawl, I no longer cared who saw or what anyone else thought. Even Lorraine Suttles, a girl who I hated with a passion asked me if I was ok. I told her to go away, that I didnít want to talk about it. I didnít care if I skipped Woodardís class or Ecclesís, I just wanted people to get the heck away from me and to let me be alone in my misery.

Three more people came in. It was Jennifer Soto, Cassie Neal, and Brynn. They were all concerned and asked me what was wrong. Them I told. And they were furious at the absurdity of the accusation. They told me not to let Kessler get to me, but they couldnít understand. No one could.

I donít know if people could hear me out in the halls, or if Bonnie had told her, or if Jennifer or anyone in her crew told her that I was crying my eyes out in the bathroom, but Mrs. Fischer came in and asked me what was wrong. I told her everything and it brought another wave of grief, but I couldnít cry any harder without making so much noise that it would have notified the whole school. She told me that sheíd tell Mr. Woodard where I was and asked me if I planned to come back soon. I told her that there wasnít even a snowballís chance in hell that I was coming back until I cried so much that I was going to feel better. And God bless that woman, she agreed.

The bell rand and she had to go. She said sheíd be back though.

Eventually the tears stopped, but I told myself that I wasnít coming out until I could breathe normally again.

Itís strange how crying takes up so much energy. By the time I was done I felt so tired that I was surprised that I didnít fall asleep.

Jennifer came in again. I had the suspicion that she had just come in to see if I was all right. She noticed me in the corner and that Iíd stopped crying.

ďAre you skipping?Ē She asked me. The funny thing about that was I had been thinking about not going to the rest of Woodardís class and just staying where it was safe.

I was about to say no but I stopped myself. Technically I was skipping. She seemed to understand.

ďThis your first time?Ē

I nodded. ďYeah.Ē
She laughed. After checking her hair she left, calling ďEnjoy!Ē back to me.

I heard Mr. Opgrande outside in the halls so I had to stay very quiet until he passed. I was already failing a class, so why should I get ISS as well?

Finally, I could breathe normally again. I got up and dared to look in the mirror. To be perfectly blunt and honest, I looked like hell had thrown up. My face was blotchy, it had tear stains all over it, my hair was a mess, and I just looked horrible. But I splashed some water on my face and went to class.

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