Here is another short story that I tried to put together. Looking forward to getting some feedback.
Young Wayne Billings was born to parents that gave him up for adoption when Wayne was three days old. The family of John and Jane Billings adopted Wayne and treated him as if he were their own. He attended elementary school at a local Green Brier Elementary school and felt that he was distant from most of the students, not in location but in personal connection. By the time Wayne attended middle school at Lakota Junior High, he felt like an outcast. He could count on his one hand the amount of actual conversations he had had with any of the students. It was as if the natural racial divide blurred when kids were around him no matter the economic category that they represented they all seemed to have a quantifiable distaste for Wayne.
It wasn’t as if Wayne did not try, he would sit next to any random person in the lunch room and they would, without missing a beat, stand up and sit somewhere else. The amount of self-doubt in Wayne became larger and larger throughout the school year, although the most significant event occurred on that year on March 13th.
Spanish class began at 1000 and would end at 1120 Monday, Wednesday and Friday of each week. Wayne loathed the days he had Spanish class. He would hope for a three day weekend in order to miss one day of the class that tormented him.
Wayne’s first day in the class had been mostly uneventful much as his second day. It wasn’t until his third week in the class that the torture began. It began with a simple attempt at courtship, a simple attempt at winning the hand of a beautiful girl in the classroom. She could have simply said ‘no’ however she instead recited Wayne’s love request in full text. The note was handed to her towards the end of class yet somehow she decided to break the cardinal rule of Spanish class which was that no English was spoken in the classroom. On the fateful day in question many rules were broken, the unwritten rule of discretion being the most prevalent.
Normally Wayne would spend the eighty minutes, in class, counting the seconds in which there were four thousand eight hundred. He would peer out the window hoping to see something of interest, something, anything to take him away from the torment that encompassed Spanish class. Sometimes he would see a squirrel and other times a bird. He would count the feathers on the bird, in which there always seemed to be fourteen.
On the days that he was required to attend the class he would hurriedly hand in his homework in order to dodge the aggressive pushing that began most classes. His timing had to be perfect, he had to leave the class prior exactly when the bell rang and sprint out the door in order to make the classroom precisely as the previous Spanish class was exiting the classroom, he would hope and pray that the other students did not hurriedly make their way to class thus cancelling out his wish of dodging them.
Wayne’s teacher Mrs. Flavin had an accent. Not just an accent but an accent that would force confusion. Her accent was in French. When she had learned how to speak Spanish the summer before the school year began the school board was overjoyed to have a teacher that spoke both French and Spanish. However, the school board did not have the foresight to test her on her language skills or make any real effort to check up on her teaching ability in a language that she had only learned months prior to the school year thus she spoke with a French accent.
Fearful as she was of failure she spent every evening listening to Spanish audio tapes and watching the Spanish soap operas while drinking wine. Her husband would come home and tell her how French was a language of love and Spanish was a language full of “murders and rapists.” Mrs. Flavin worried little about her husband’s comments and continued on with her language building.
The students did not grasp the idea that they were learning a new language completely incorrectly; they thought that the distinct way they were speaking was perfectly natural for a native speaker. They loved the idea of learning a new language. Simple words such as “hola” and “adios” ended in her class with a feathery touch from the French.
Usually notes would be passed around the class in a very unspecific circular fashion. Mrs. Flavin had intentionally attempted to ignore the note passing over the years of teaching she had accrued. The note had been handed Sandra with the words ‘Yes’ or ‘no’ written near the bottom of the page. Wayne had envisioned the circling of the word ‘yes’ along with a smiley face drawing and or a kiss on the paper before return, however what he received was far more devious in nature.
Sandra Straten stood up in front of the class abruptly stopping Mrs. Flavin’s accent heavy lesson and read aloud the words of Wayne.
“Excuse me class, I have something to tell you….”
The class became quiet and stared intently at her. Mrs. Flavin stopped her lesson in mid-sentence and turned from the facing the board to facing the classroom.
“Umh, I just received this note from Wayne Billings.”
The class giggled with anticipation as she unfolded the letter.
“Dear Sandra, We don’t know each other very well, but I would like to know, I mean if you are single, if you would like to accompany me to the Gum Drop Dance next Saturday in the gymnasium please just circle yes or no on the bottom of the page.”
Sandra paused as the entire class laughed hysterically. She finally turned to Wayne and stated.
“Wayne, I would never go anywhere with you because you are creepy and gross.”
The classroom laughed again, this time including Mrs. Flavin. The seed had been planted.
In the weeks following the distasteful exchange Wayne hoped that the teasing and prodding would have subsided; how wrong he was. Two weeks later people had taken the request from a simple dance to a sexual conquest; it had gone from innocence to deviousness. Wayne hoped for the day that the note would disappear out of the minds of his classmates, but sadly it never did.
Wayne likened it to the heckling of a paid performer. From then on his every word was not measured by its validity but by the amount of ridicule that could be drawn from such comment.
The abuse would begin at the ring of the bell and would not end until moments after the class had been dismissed.
Usually the first derogatory comment would include a comment about his wardrobe, more specifically the bow tie that his Mother forced him to wear, the comments would continue onto his size and demeanor but the apex of the chatter would end with a physical attack either with erasers or dull pencil shavings.
On this particular day Wayne’s entrance into the classroom was predictable as he hurriedly delivered his homework onto the desk of Mrs. Flavin, however much to his dismay Mrs. Flavin had been abruptly yet temporarily substituted by an enlarged possibly steroid enhanced mid-thirties male replacement.
Following a shuffle to the desks and the bell ringing, an announcement by the barrel-chested man was granted.
“My name is Mr. Chesterfield and I am your substitute teacher today, Mrs. Flavin will be here tomorrow.”
A slight groin washed over the room followed by a paper airplane that landed directly in front of young Wayne. Wayne slowly opened the plane, unfolding until it was completely flat. He slowly read the word scribbled on the paper, the paper in large letters read “loser.” Wayne crumbled up the paper and set it aside. Wayne felt embarrassed and saddened by the word written on the paper.
Mr. Chesterfield noticed the airplane flying through the air and watched as Wayne read the note; once Wayne had crumbled it up he pounced.
“There is no note passing in my classroom, now what is this!”
He grabbed the note off of Wayne’s desk. He opened it and read aloud. The classroom exploded with laughter.
Wayne sunk deeper into his chair. For the next fifteen minutes Mr. Chesterfield discussed the root words of burrito and enchilada, which according to him were translated to “small donkey” and “in chili.” Wayne’s mind wondered outside as he viewed a small bird pecking at a Taco Bell wrapper. Wayne wanted to assist the bird and make friends with it. He envisioned a time when he would have a dog or cat that would love him. He felt love from his adoptive parents but still felt as though there was a void that they did not speak of.
Wayne took notes at a fevered pace even though he imagined the information from Chesterfield was flawed at best. The moments would pass quickly and then a comment would pop up and tear at Wayne’s soul thus forcing the classroom time to slow down to a crawl.
At 1042 Wayne felt a slight tug at his collar and then an avalanche of pencil shavings falling from the top of his head into his shirt to the small of his back. He immediately sprung to action by running to the nearest exit and scream crying outside of the classroom while shaking the shavings from his hair and inside of his shirt.
Shortly after Wayne’s exit from the classroom Mr. Chesterfield followed with a head of steam. Wayne anticipated an apology for such actions in a classroom that he, Chesterfield, was responsible for, however what Wayne received was not an apology or a touch of remorse. Mr. Chesterfield proclaimed.
“Shake it off and get back into class before I mark you tardy.”
Chesterfield then re-entered the classroom in the same way he had exited.
Wayne shook himself until he could no longer feel foreign residue in his shirt and re-entered the classroom to incessant laughter. He took his seat and continued taking notes as though nothing had happened.
At 1116 Wayne glanced at the clock and viewed the direct reflection of Hank Beason, the student who represented the ring leader of the students, slowly creeping up on him. Wayne carefully grabbed his industrial size binder waiting for his opportunity. He kept his eye on the teacher as well as the glare from the clock.
The student merely steps from him was identified as the same student who had attacked Wayne previously. Wayne’s heartbeat faster and faster as his anticipation rose higher and higher. Once the student from behind was in striking distance Wayne, without standing, cocked his binder and swung with violent contempt. He swung as if all of his fears were being removed from his heart and soul.
The connection of binder to student interrupted the class as it made a violent and thunderous thud not unlike a prize fighter connecting with a vicious haymaker.
Throughout the entire swing Wayne had been surprised by the torque he had created with is wrist, arm and torso, however it was not until the swing had completed its circle of agony did Wayne notice two things. One, the student that had approached from the rear had been struck so violently that he had been knocked unconscious and two that the student had left his front two teeth implanted in the face of the binder. Sandra feverously wrote a note with a yes and no at the bottom.
The classroom fell silent.
Chesterfield immediately called the principal from a phone located on the wall. Wayne was suspended for three days but was never again the victim of ridicule or attack in his Spanish class. He would eventually become the Governor of Washington State.
Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.