Tuesday, April 03, 2007
The Next Line 22
“I’m having a problem with bullies,” I said.
Mr. Wilson looked worried. The word “bullies” conjures up an image of testosterone-mad boys slamming you into a locker or cruel girls betraying your confidences. My bullies were a mix of eighth grade boys and girls, all one year younger and at least a foot shorter than I was. For bullies, they weren’t very intimidating.
“I can tell the principal,” Mr. Wilson said, “but it will be your word against theirs.” He leaned forward, lowering his voice, “Or, I could come out and catch them in the act. I can see the courtyard from the English office and I have that period free. Is that all right?”
“That would be great,” I said. “Thanks a lot.”
“If they’re with you, and I’m not coming out fast enough, if you don’t feel safe, just stand up and wave your arms like this.” He waved his arms over his head enthusiastically, having apparently decided that his lifeguarding experience was most applicable to my problem.
I nodded, thanked him sincerely, and turned to leave.
“Be careful,” he called after me. “Don’t go to the bathroom alone, in case they try to jump you.”
The next day, I was surrounded by English teachers. “Been conjugating any big verbs lately, smartass?” asked Mr. Van Horn.
“I saw what you did with that subjunctive,” added Ms. Taylor, "and it made me want to puke!”
Then Mr. Bradshaw grabbed me by the front of my jacket, slammed me against the flagpole, and said, “Diagram that, you little—”
I waved my arms wildly for Mr. Wilson, but then I spotted him--standing under the awning with the yearbook adviser, filming the whole thing.
Dialogue: Leah Libresco.....The Next Line: bunnygirl