Chapter 16: The almost great but horrible day
On March 9th, Mike walked into English class with a great feeling inside: it was his birthday! He had been able to open a few presents at home and brought Tim Hortons donuts for his first period English class. But during English, no one even said, “Happy Birthday”. All they said was, “Thank you,” when they received the donut. The class, including Ms. Rond, looked at him strangely as if he had an abnormally large pimple growing on his forehead. Even Cindy did not say anything.
They must be giving me a surprise party or something, hoped Mike. But soon the class was nearing the end and no one had even made eye contact with him. He knew he had told his English class about his birthday because Ms. Rond kept a little birthday calendar for her class so they could celebrate every one. Even the ones that were not in the school year were celebrated in the beginning of June.
“It’s my birthday today,” Mike told Cindy.
“Mhmm…” was her reply. Cindy wasn’t really paying attention to Mike as she was hurriedly finishing her English homework, which she knew Ms. Rond would soon be collecting. Mike felt everyone was ignoring him as if he wasn’t there. He felt like an invisible boy floating over the class. He slumped in his chair and stared at his books like they had caused this to happen.
“For today’s homework I would like you all to write a three-page review on One on Once,” Ms. Rond announced to the class.
“Great,” moaned Mike.
“But first, I would like to collect your One on One questions.”
The class had been working on the book One on One by Don Aker since the end of the Christmas holidays and now they had finally finished it. When Ms. Rond arrived at Cindy’s desk, Cindy automatically handed in her questions but Mike just sunk lower into his chair.
“Where’s your homework?” asked Ms. Rond politely.
“Right here,” Mike muttered pointing to the stapled sheets of paper on his desk.
“May I have it?”
The class was shocked at Mike’s impudence. They began whispering amongst themselves with concerned looks on their faces.
Well at least they’re not deaf, Mike thought.
Just then the small red bell on the wall began to ring loudly indicating that class was finished.
“Class dismissed. Except for you two.” Ms. Rond looked directly at Cindy and glared at Mike. Probably wants me to help her with something, Cindy thought, but she wondered why Mike was being summoned as well.
The two gathered up their books and approached their English teacher’s desk. “Cindy, is Mike this rude when you tutor him?” Ms. Rond leaned back in her black swivel chair waiting for an answer.
“No,” was Cindy’s automatic reply. She looked directly into her teacher’s eyes without flinching.
“Well, then why was he so rude to me?”
“I don’t know.”
Cindy was one of those girls who stood up for herself and wasn’t afraid of confronting others such as her English teacher. She knew if she was honest and upfront, she couldn’t be harmed. If she had come face-to-face with the devil and had been asked the same question, she would have responded the exact same way. Mike on the other hand would have stared down at the floor, trying to hide his nervousness, which he did now. Cindy was also a straight “A” student who had been on the Honour Role and citizenship ever since Mike had known her. These were awards that the “good kids got” according to Mike. When students got over eighty percent or ninety percent in every subject, they were selected for Honour Role. If students helped around and offered their assistance, the teachers might think about nominating them for a citizenship award. The school had an assembly each year to congratulate these special students and specific clubs. After every term, the school would start over again and try to see who deserved the awards this term. Mike knew that any teacher could throw anything at Cindy and she would certainly get at least ninety percent in it.
Ms. Rond couldn’t get Cindy to talk anymore so she dismissed both of them. Mike was surprised at this. Usually a teacher that had a reason to hold him in would give him a detention. Mike walked out of Barkley Middle School smiling.