I’m sitting in the waiting room for the principal’s office. Again.
This week I went with a new theme. Pranks, pins on unsuspecting teacher’s chairs. Lockers filled with streamers. The norm, I must admit, this week wasn’t my best I have done better.
As I stare, bored, at Vanessa, the receptionist’s face that has been caked with makeup. Ten layers of blush, clumpy mascara, blood-red lipstick that looks out of place on her chubby face. I almost miss it when she calls my name.
“Bryn, Mr. Charleston will see you now. Have fun,” That charming Vanessa always so lovely and sarcastic.
“Thanks Vanessa,” I say in my sweetest voice. I don’t give her time to scold me for calling her by her first name. Surely she would know that I forgot her last name during grade eight. The year my high-school troubles began. The year high-school began.
I casually walk into Greg Charleston’s office a man respected by all, but me. A tall but beefy man that struts around proudly twirling his salt and pepper moustache.
As I reach the velvet floral patterned chairs sitting before his grand oak desk, I make special effort to slop into them and slump in a way I am certain could get me a scolding if he weren’t so angry already. I really did a great job at irritating him this week.
He welcomes me to another unscheduled ‘meeting’, actually I wouldn’t say welcome more like insults my organizational skills until he’s run out of words a principle shouldn’t even be saying to a student, but anyway. After this calm chat I start with the small talk.
“Nice weather out there isn’t it Greg?”
“Those cafeteria prices have really shot up haven’t they Greggo,”
“Charleston my man, where did you get the fabulous suit?”
All of these topics don’t seem to get a great response. I seriously have no idea why.
“That’s it,” he says, now we’re getting somewhere, “I have put up with you for too long so now it’s your final warning and I mean it this time.” Oh yeah like he’s meant it the other 100 times he’s said it. “If you break the rules, try to get around them or so much as bend them a little. You will be expelled.”
Okay this time he sounds a bit angrier, and serious, and annoyed. But cheerful at the same time.
“Are you TRYING to get RID of me sir?” I ask mustering up all the manners I have stored deep in my body.
“No, but it is seeming more and more likely you are trying to get rid of yourself.” I’m pretty sure smoke is going to start coming out his nose and then fire from his mouth so I need to dial down now. “I'm telling you, it’s the last warning.”
“Yes sir,” and with that I left.
That day I made the decision that instead of breaking, avoiding, or bending the rules. I would smash them into a million pieces so that no one could rebuild them. And nothing would change my mind.
I'm thinking of extending this so it is a full story. How she got there, etc.