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January 17, 2012 / austreberto

be careful, they probably can smell fear

be careful, they probably can smell fear

 

he hobbled over to me with that limp of his

he didn’t like to talk about it

i never brought it up

 

was on both the football and basketball teams

always last to finish during drills

it was good for his self esteem

probably why he made both teams

though i doubt they let him play often

 

sat next to my desk

it wasn’t even our class period to have

got out of gym

smelled worse than usual

 

it was so bad one day

we actually brought in the drug dog

thought it was meth

smelled like cat piss

the kids didn’t notice

just wanted to play with the dog

 

do you go to church?

 

he caught me off guard

he had never done that before

 

he was possibly thinking that my ability to teach was directly linked to how holy i was

 

i learned early on to never lie to students

don’t underestimate them either

they catch on fast

 

no, i don’t go to church

 

this caught him off guard as much as he did to me in the first place

his face was a mixture of

shock

fear

but mostly disappointment

 

how in the world could he have a teacher that didn’t go to church

 

do you believe in god?

 

if i hadn’t shown fear before after his first question

i was now

 

i’m pretty sure the jaws theme song started playing

 

waiting for ashton kutcher to run into my classroom

camera crew and all

i jump out of my seat yelling a no way of disbelief

pretend to punch him

laughing

because we’re pals like that

you know

no big deal

 

but nothing happened

 

little did he know

his perception of me would drastically change with one syllable and probably one of the most impactful things i would ever say to him while being his teacher

 

no

 

he sat there

thought real hard

probably the hardest he had ever done while in my classroom

tried to wrap his head around it all

and walked away

 

he never came up to me like that again

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