Hall Pass

A bell sounds in the distance and brings me into the present - it is time for my day to begin. I push myself out of my chair and slowly make my way out of the comfort of solitude, afraid that the last of my energy has been wasted on this simple task. On my way out the door I rip my to-do list off what used to be a cork board but is now no more than two pins and hundreds of holes, then sling my computer bag over my shoulder. The weight accentuates the slouched position that my body has grown accustomed to. The door clicks behind me with a sense of finality as I reach for the keys in my jean pocket and wriggle the right one in the lock, the remainder of them jingling as they clash together.

Slowly, I progress down the hall, eventually opening door 28, a shaky fake smile all that I can muster. On the other side of door 28 I am instantly met with the noise and bustle of people talking and moving. I resist the over-powering urge to gag as I glance around the room, taking in all their smiling faces, so innocent, so happy…almost as though they have reasons for being alive. I yell out half-hearted into the crowd, without great success; multiple eyes flicker towards me, then turn back and continue the discussions I so rudely interrupted.

I know I should take control of the situation, after all, the walls on the room are not sound proof and soon enough somebody could notice the racket and come rushing in to take it all away from me. They could fire me on the spot, removing the only thing keeping me sane, and somehow this compels me enough to attempt to calm the hullabaloo in the room and bring order. I make my way to the front of the class, which is harder than it should have been - mostly due to the mass of bodies milling in the way. Pulling back the chair that is tucked beneath the single table at the front of the room, I place my bag on the floor beside the desk and climb up on the surface of the table, willing it to not collapse beneath me.

“If everyone could take their seats, I will get off the table and we shall begin our lesson.” My voice rings out over the chatter and I watch, still perched up on the table, as students scurry to desks, the sound of chairs scraping against the wooden floor a refreshing replacement to the intensity of talking that had now ceased. As the last desk is occupied, I clamber down off the table and begin the misery that is school. I am the teacher. I am in charge.

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