A young boy recounts his adventure of running late to school.
*Published in the Apogee Literary Magazine
“Tuesday, April 5th, chill, crisp, fresh; the grass looked green enough to put on a salad, I ran to school, late, my shoes made light squeaks as they tore across the dusty hallway; past the front door, past the principal, past the nurse, past 11 other unsuspecting teachers and personnel, I had my route memorized, like a ninja I crept through the halls (You don’t even know how fast I was, I told you I should have joined track); soon enough I was at my desk in my allotted classroom but I wasn’t good enough: Mr. Mars had spotted me. Now, Mr. Mars had once held the dream of being a bear wrestler, so I’m told, but when that didn’t work out he became an 11th grade math teacher, hoping to cause the students as much pain as the bears would have gotten, I was forced to not only write ‘I will not be late to class’ 500,000 times for homework, but I would also be assigned to a recently formed class project group, a social nightmare; what could be worse than a project with two or three amateurs who would force you into the mundane conversations that 80-year-old women partake in? So, I’m sitting there, sizing the groups up, I see many possible horror stories forming in front of me, but this one group, all the way in back is the worst, it has Joe Turner and his two body guards; their nicknames all give off the faint idea of jail time and the feeling of a bad bruise, basically they’ll beat the shit out of you, and knowing Mr. Mars, that’s who he’ll pick as my group members, capital punishment for a minor crime, and just as I’m sitting there he mutters, ‘How about you join Anne and Jesse,’ I’m like freaking out, I mean, what? I get put in a group with the two hottest girls in the 11th grade? So, I go over there and Anne, who is smiling at me like I’m some sort-of long lost best friend, greets me first with, ‘Hi, how are you?’ I just stare. Just stare. I cannot think of a single word to say, so I just force some words out, I think I said ‘neat’ or something similar, then Jesse grimaced and asks if I’m going to be doing all the work, and I try to tell her to do her own work but I still can’t speak and I mutter something between ‘work’ and ‘Christmas’, Jesse seems pleased by this and immediately goes to the bathroom to chat it up with her boyfriend on the phone, so here I am: sitting nearly alone with Anne Dawson, my dream girl; now with her friend gone I start to get some word flow going and begin saying random words, then I say entire sentences (they just don’t make sense in context), and finally just as I’m about to ask her on a date my stupid alarm goes off and I wake up alone in my room. Can you believe that?”
Brian, clearly still shocked from the whole experience, sat nervously on his bed talking to his cat that meowed back quietly, “You need new friends.”