I close my eyes. The cold, hard surface of my desk props my elbow as I lean my head into my hand while automatically rambling off the conjugated forms of hacer. Hago, haces, hace, hacemos, hacéis, hacen. On and on and on. I open my eyes again and they begin to glaze over as I stare at the clock. It’s only 9:13 am and I mentally groan from exhaustion when Greg accidentally kicks the back of my chair, snapping my attention back to the chalkboard. A few more swift kicks follow and I suddenly realize Greg’s kicks aren’t an accident. Principal Connor pokes her head into our classroom and calls Mrs. Amore into the hallway. “Look at exercise 2C in your workbooks, class,” Mrs. Amore instructs. Her heels clink against the tile floor and she closes the door behind her.
The class erupts into sudden chaos before the latch even clicks into the doorframe. The girls clutter and begin giggling over the new Heath Ledger movie, while the boys discuss the much anticipated Xbox release in November. I pull out my Walkman from my desk and raise the headphones to my ears when Greg kicks my chair again.
I turn to face him. “What’s that about?” he asks, nodding towards the door.
“Your guess is as good as mine.”
We look at the door, out the small rectangle window, seeing half of Mrs. Amore’s back. She is stiff, as if cold water has been poured over her, but then her shoulders begin to rise and fall as Principal Connor rubs her back, trying to calm her down.
“It doesn’t look good,” I point out. “She’s crying.”
We look at each other and back at the door. The heels of Mrs. Amore’s palms wipe vigorously at her cheeks, erasing any sign of sadness. She then takes a deep breath as she tries to regain composure and reaches out for the doorknob. I shove my Walkman back into my desk and face forward. Greg places his hands folded on top of his. Mrs. Amore walks back into the classroom with puffy, tired eyes.