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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



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


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




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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