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The music room; filled with giggles.
“Unlock the door,” Mr. Rosetti said.
The band students inside continued to laugh. He slipped his keys into the lock and it clicked free, but Clayton locked it again.
“Please let me in,” he begged.
As he kept unlocking the door, Clayton locked it up again, while the rest of us sat around and played our instruments.
“Whatever,” Rosetti said. He backed away and stomped away to the office. “I quit!” we heard him yell to our principal.
The halls were quiet in the Up River Jr. High/ Elementary school, until seven-thirty when the early birds start to show, their shoes squeaking across the gym floor.
“Good morning McKenzie,” the lunch lady Darla would say, followed by the “hello” of her co-lunch lady, Sandy.
“Good morning,” I’d say with a smile. My own shoes would squeak their way across the multipurpose room floor. Tables were laid out waiting for the breakfast rush to start when the buses showed up.
I made my way back to the Jr. High lockers. I put my combo in and lingered around for a few minutes, then went out to the MP room and sat down at the yellow bench table closest to the hall.
When the Clarkia bus arrived Jamie walked up to me and ask, “Is he here?”
“Not yet, maybe it’ll be a sub.”
“I wish.” We giggled and she sat down next to me.
After playing several rounds of rock, paper, scissors, the school doors opened:
He barged in like it was his own house. Everyone stopped what they were doing and watched him make his way to the music room. Looking around I saw that everyone’s face looked the same.
With eyes squinted, nose quenched so hard they looked like flat-nosed puppy dogs. Mouth opened ever so slightly revealing some teeth. Their eyes rolled when he left the room and many voices of “I lost my appetite,” rang through the whole gym. The line to dump breakfast grew with all of the students. Jamie and I walked to the middle of the gym. The other five band members met us there.
“It didn’t work,” Katie said.
“I know, I mean come on,” Emily complained.
The two percussion girls pouted.
“Don’t worry you guys,” Clayton said.
“But…” Lacey began
“No buts,” Tifani said, “we’re so close.”
I looked over to my brother, then back at my group.
“I’ve got an idea,” I said. “This time he’ll be gone for sure.”
I left the group after asking Clayton to come with me. We walked over to my little brother and his friend, Radyen. I explained my plan to them.
“So? What do you think?” I asked.
“Brilliant!” Clayton cheered.
The morning passed by very slowly. When fourth hour came, Clayton and I met up with D.J. and Rayden.
“You got it?” Clayton asked.
The two boys smiled. Rayden stuck his hand down into his pocket; he pulled out a squirming little creature and gave it to Clayton who then put it in his own pocket.
We walked to the music room.
“Good morning,” Rosetti said.
“Yes, very good morning,” I smiled.
I walked to the back of the room, and at the instrument closet I told everyone to follow my lead. I sat down in my rusty brown chair, but before putting together my clarinet I picked my feet up off of the ground. Letting them rest on the bars of Jamie’s chair right next to me. Everyone followed.
“Don’t mess with me today,” the teacher said.
Katie then let out a laugh.
“Turn around and look down Hoesetti,” she said, copying the name our friend, Arionna, called him.
I flinched back and my ears popped. And by the time I came back to understanding with my hearing, Rosetti was already outside. The class ran over to the window.
“I’m out of here and I’m never coming back! Ever! Ever!” he yelled and screamed. The door opened behind us as Clayton put the snake back into his pocket. Our principal stepped in, staring at us blankly.
“Way to go!” he said smiling. He high-fived us all, and gave us hugs. “No math homework for a week.”
“But Mr. Anderson, you love math.” Lacey said.
“Right, no English homework for a week,” he corrected.
I received high-fives, hugs, and a thank you every couple of minutes.
For fourth hour the next morning, we sat around talking about the pervious day, but we kept hearing strange noises in the closet up front. Banging on the wall, our sub was Jamie Wills, our secretary’s husband. He walked over and opened the door. He stopped when the door opened. He looked down and left the school, just as Rosetti and our secretary Alyssa walked out together. They were holding hands.