It was raining outside.
My wet sneakers squeaked against the linoleum tiled floor as I made my way to Mr. Bradley’s history class. Even with my headphones on and some awesome electric violin music blaring, I could hear the sound of my squeaky shoes. I pushed my headphones off as I walked through the door. With them around my neck I could still hear the beat and the wail of the violin. I used the volume toggle on the cord, and turned down my music.
“Geoffrey!” Mr. Bradley hollered.
I raised my head, and looked through my dripping wet hair at my teacher. He looked like a potato with hair. His round head, huge gray eyebrows that hung over his wire rimmed glasses, a gray mustache so big and bushy it obscured both of his lips. The only thing keeping up his over-sized trousers, which his gut tried to push down, was his black suspenders. Always those black suspenders. They almost sat in his armpits because of how far his stomach pushed them out of the way.
“Where were you yesterday?” He barked at me.
“Right here, sir.” Every time I spoke, I was kind of surprised at the sound of my voice. It was deep, and gravelly. Probably because I used it so rarely. I walked to my seat at the back of the classroom. Every step punctuated by a squeak from my shoes.
Mr. Bradley frowned at me. “I have you marked as absent.”
“I was sitting right here.” I said, sitting down and placing my soaking wet black binder and blue pencil case on my desk.
“Were you late?” Mr. Bradley’s cheeks were turning red. He still looked like a potato.
“I was here before you.” I pushed my hair back from my face, and noticed that several faces were staring at me. I could feel heat rising in my cheeks. Usually no one looked at me. I guess I kind of liked it that way.
“Well, I have you marked as absent, so one of us is wrong.” Can potatoes get mad? Because I was pretty sure this potato was.
I nodded and swallowed a few times before I spoke, trying to clear my throat as much as possible. “I’m sorry, sir. I guess one of us is wrong.”
“I will not stand for this kind of behaviour, Geoffrey.” Mr. Bradley folded his arms above his enormous belly.
“It won’t happen again.” I said as I opened up my binder. The stupid thing was that I had been there the day before. I was in the room before him. Not a word of a lie. I had a perfect attendance record, despite the fact that school started way too early, and I had to walk – rain or shine, and I hated history, and my teacher was the meanest potato I’d ever met. The worst part was that I knew it would happen again. That was my life. I faded into the background. No one talked to me. No one knew me.
It was okay though. I had accepted it. Music and books. Those were my friends.
This Other Story – Fantasy novel: first draft
It was raining outside.