“Do you have a hearing problem young man?”
“No,” John replied.
“Then what seems to be the problem? I asked you to sit quietly and read, however I keep hearing whispers from over here.” John’s teacher stood over him waiting for his answer.
“I wasn’t talking ma’am, I swear.”
Ms. Gray looked down at him uncertain whether to believe him or her ears. He’s a good boy, she thought. “Alright John, but if I hear anything else from over in this area you’re going to be in big trouble. You understand?”
“Yes ma’am,” he said hiding his face behind his book.
Ms. Gray returned to her desk and the task of grading while her students read. I don’t know why I do it anymore, she thought. These kids today are not nearly as disciplined as they used to be. Shaking away the listless thoughts, she turned back to her work.
Bitch, John thought. Why does she have to be so hard on me? I’m one of the best students in this class and all she ever does is call me out. Why can’t she just ignore me like she does Tommy? He’s the one always causing trouble, not me and I usually get blamed for it.
John turned to glance over his shoulder at the sound. Sitting behind him was Tommy motioning for him to turn around. John shook his head no. Damn it, he’s going to get me into more trouble, John thought.
Ms. Gray glanced up from her work John noticed from his peripheral vision over his book. Tommy poked him in the back and handed him a slip of paper. John grabbed it quickly hoping not to be seen.
“Why is it that the witch never lets us have any fun in class?” Tommy never swore, not aloud or in writing.
Glancing back, John shrugged his response.
“What,” John hissed without turning.
Turning slightly John said, “Tommy I swear I’m gonna beat you to a pulp if you don’t stop that. You’re gonna get me in trouble.”
“What!?” John spoke louder than he had meant to and Ms. Gray looked up.
“Ms. Gray, John’s talking again,” Tommy says in a loud voice waving his hand over his head.