Thursday, June 26, 2008

"Why can't you all be like Roses?"

Back in the day, high school English classes met in the school library once a week.
We were to pick out a book, read it, and write a report.
(Because otherwise, apparently, none of us would think to read a book.)
It was always a very boring period as none of us were allowed to talk... being in a library.
However, we were allowed to sit with whomever we wished, as long as we sat quietly and didn't drag extra chairs around any library-issue tables.

My friends and I would stake out our table, grab our books, and settle in for a long, boring class. Anyone who didn't fit around our table sat nearby. Everyone wanted to sit where they could see everyone and everything going on.
One particular day, I got stuck in the chair facing the wall. I could see everyone at my own table, but everything and everyone else was behind my back.
Including the teacher.

After several "hush"ings, the students in the library settled down to a dull murmur and page turning became the loudest sound in the room.
At our table, whispers were passed out of the corners of mouths.
Snickers were surpressed.
Shins kicked under the table.
All unacceptable but tolerated behavior.

Until.
I chimed in.

My easily-played friends simply could not contain themselves if I whispered just the right line at just the right time. They burst out laughing.
And the teacher would come over.
"You people will have to keep it down."
"Yes, sir."

Whispers.
Snickers.
My snippy comment.
PEALS of LAUGHTER!
"Stop it! You're gonna get us in trouble."

About the third time the teacher came to our table, he place his hand on my shoulder.
Crap.

"This table is displaying terrible behavior..."
We displayed contrite bowed heads.
"... Why can't you all be more like Roses? I haven't heard a peep out of her."
Jaws dropped. "What? No!"
"She's been sitting here quietly. You're all laughing, and she's just reading. I can't see why she'd want to sit with you at all."

All eyes turned to me. My best friends. These people who would live and die for me.
Devoted. Loving. Loyal.
I looked at their faces, their eyes begging me to tell the teacher what I've been doing. That it's not their fault. That I'm the one who's being obnoxious.

Understanding, I nodded my head.

"Yeah, you guys. I'm trying to read."

***

We all still remember that day.
We all still think it's the funniest thing that I was the trouble maker that didn't get in trouble.

But, I wonder if that teacher didn't get the last laugh.
Did he really think I was innocent, or was he simply playing us all?

3 comments:

Mrs. Who said...

You must have cultured that 'look'...you know, the innocent one...so even if you were leaning across the table with your legs kicking your chair to speak with a classmate, who wasn't saying anything at all, it was the classmate who got in trouble...yeah, that look. *clears throat* Not that I would know anything about that, of course.

Roses said...

Mrs. Who: I should have known I'd never fool you.
Did I fail to ever mention that I'm the youngest in my family? Yes, I have that "look" down to perfection.

Bob said...

Teach' was on to you. He just enjoyed messing with your heads.