Sunday, September 7, 2008

Class 308. Second Short Story. Rough Draft

Hey all. This is my SECOND piece of prose due in my English 308 class. Give it a read. Let me know what you think

Updated 9/8/08 at 6:43 AM

It was boring. So boring. For some reason, some high-and-mighty official deemed this rectangular room with walls painted white fit to be called a classroom. I, Mike, was the creative type. Give me a black-bristled paint brush or a green coloring pencil and I could turn this room into something brilliant. Instead, reading, writing, and arithmetic were the order for the day, every day. If the teacher, Ms. Birch, could have had half a brain, the right side, then maybe I would have listened more.

Instead, the tall, thin teacher with black rimmed glasses wouldn't stop droning on about how some culture (because that was the word the book used) eight thousand years ago, give or take a millennium, slaughtered another culture. Not that this was a boring topic, you see, it was just that I had my eyes set on someone special, someone who made going to school worthwhile.

Her name was Katie. Katie was smart and beautiful. Whenever the teacher posed a particularly peculiar question to the class, Katie's hand was always the first to shoot straight up. Often, she would stroke her long, black hair, look at me with her emerald-green, cat-like eyes, and smile. When she smiled, I soared. I was in love. So what if I was only thirteen years old?

"Class, please open your textbooks to page 140. Get with a partner and work on the exercises on that page," said Ms. Birch. "Katie, would you please help out Mike with this exercise?"

This was my lucky day, or so I thought.

Katie slid out of her chair, picked up her heavy history book, and walked toward me. My heart pounded hard, trying to escape my chest and meld with hers. Any second now I would have the girl of my dreams sitting next to me, talking to me, reading with me. Katie approached my table, showed me a smile with snowy white teeth and luscious lips, and sent me straight to heaven.

"May I sit here?" said Katie, pointing to the chair on my right.

Her words, like an angelic melody, landed softly on my beating heart.

Sit here? I thought. Of course you can sit here! I would never deny an angel!

Unfortunately, my carefully crafted words spilled out of my mouth in a garbled waterfall of nonsense, their syllables in shambles as they hit the rocks of my immovable tongue.

Still, she smiled. Oh, what a smile! Then, like a graceful doe, she walked around the desk and folded her legs beneath its table.

"Okay Mike, open your book to the page," she said, pointing to my still unopened book. "Page 140, just like Ms. Birch told us to."

Katie took my book from the table, opened it to the page, and pointed to a paragraph that wanted us to write a summary of the chapter's "key terms." Key terms were boring and writing with a pencil was particularly frustrating, but Katie made the experience exhilarating.

"Mike, take the pencil like we practiced and write out the definitions. Here, it's easy, watch me."

Then, I had an idea. I would show her my true feelings. The people in the movies mom and dad watched always did that.

I grasped the pencil that that was laying on the right side of my desk, opened the wide-ruled notebook, and began to scratch out in long, thick carbon markings what my mouth never seemed to be able to say. I checked to make sure Katie wasn't watching. Sure enough, her head was facing some guy in the corner of the room twirling a small, plastic football. I wrote my heart onto the paper.

The letter read, "Katie, I wanted to tell you that I love you. Since the beginning of the school year, I have not been able to stop thinking about you. When you look at me, my heart stops. When you smile, it starts again. Please be my girlfriend. Love, Mike."

I looked at the paper. Not all of the letters came out but the message was clear. Now it was time for the finishing touch, the
pi├Ęces de r├ęsistance, the drawing.

I took out a thin, red, colored pencil and began with several light, curved strokes. Then, I switched out the red for a deep, forest-green, and connected a few leaves to my red outline. It was almost done. I colored in the rose with an even deeper red, which was labeled, "ruby red," and finished the drawing. It was just like the movies.

I looked up from the picture and my eyes met Katie's.

"What is that Mike? Is that for me?"

I shook my head, dumbfounded, my face a brighter shade of red than that picture.

Katie took the paper and studied it. Light as it was, I was impressed that something so thin could contain all of my hopes and ambitions.

Katie turned to me, smiled wide, and said with her angelic voice, "Mike, that is so sweet. I love how you wrote your letters and the picture is absolutely beautiful. It's just that you're not exactly my type and I don't think that my boyfriend Tim would like it very much if I was your girlfriend."

I didn't understand. I told her my heart, like in the movies, and while the rose I drew her wasn't as real as on those films, it was real enough. I thought I had done it all right.

She was always so kind to me, helping me when I didn't understand math, smiling at me when I couldn't speak, helping me when I couldn't write.

She gave me back the razor-thin paper. It nearly tore in half as I took it from her. So this was what hell felt like.

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Anonymous said...

I have a suggestion if you don't mind..... It seems that Mike is extremely smart for a 12 yr old being in a Sophomore class, but you have him as the student who needs help. If anything the school realistically if he was having that much trouble in math where he needs a helper he would be in a less advanced class then the sophomore class. Maybe you should have Mike help Katie with math instead of vise versa... just my 1st thought when reading it. It just doesn't seem realistic if the 12 yr old smart kid needs a tutor.

Simon Says: said...

Hey Bre!
Thanks for the comment! I am glad at least one person reads this blog ;).
Yeah...I never liked the idea of him being a genius kid. It was a last minute decision I made. The entire story was written with him as something completely different.
Definitely a bad decision as it throws off the story.