“Cough, cough.” Ms Pryor turns around and scans the classroom until she finds my face. “Excuse me?” she looks at me, her eyes squinting with anger.
“Go to the office.” I had gotten in trouble plenty of times before in her class, but I had never thought that I would get sent to the office for coughing.
“But I didn’t do-”
“You know what you did! Office! Now!” I hear muffled laughter behind me.
“James! Outside, now!” Ms. Pryor snaps. She turns back to me, fuming with rage.
“Why are you still here? Go to the office, now!” I reluctantly stand up and walk to the office, not worried at all. There is no way I could get in trouble for coughing.
I open the door to the office and sit down at a chair next to the door. Mrs. Dipalma asks who sent me to the office, and I tell her that I coughed during a math test and Ms. Pryor sent me down.
“Why are you here for real?”
I tell her that I misbehaved during a test and Ms Pryor sent me down, which sounds a little bit more believable.
“Ms Burke will be right with you.”
She hands me a sheet of paper titled ‘REflection worksheet. I read the first question: Why were you sent to the office? I read up and down a long list of options and decide to circle other. on the line I write coughing. What part of keller pride did you violate? I don’t know what ‘keller pride; is, so i decide not to circle anything. Mrs Burke walks in the room, and asks me to follow her.
“So, Dylan. I hear you were very disruptive in Ms Pryor’s room today. Want to tell me what happened?” she says, staring into my soul without blinking. I look away because i’m afraid I’ll burst into flames if i make eye contact for too long.
“Umm, not really. I coughed. She takes a break from her death ray vision to give me a look that says “Really? That’s the best you could come up with?”
“”Ms. Pryor says that you were making strange noises and being very disruptive during an important test.” I can tell that it will be hard to find someone that will believe my story. After all, why would a teacher get so upset about a cough?
“Follow me. We’re going to speak with Ms. Pryor.”
She walks me down to Ms. Pryor’s room, and waits with me outside until class is over. When the bell rings and everyone leaves, she has me walk in in front of her and closes the door behind us.
“So, Ms. Pryor, Dylan says that he coughed during a test and you directed him to my office.” Ms. Pryor responds very quickly, almost cutting off Mrs. Burke mid sentence.
“Dylan was a huge disruption in class. If you would like witnesses, talk to Jake Petrino and Jenna.” For some reason, as she says both of their names, she walks over to their desks and slaps their seat. Maybe for added effect.
“I coughed, but sure…” Ms. Pryor stares me like that was the most heretical thing she had ever heard, and only looks up when Mrs. Burke speaks again.
“Very well, I will talk to them. Dylan, you are dismissed.”
The next day at lunch, I talk to Jake in the lunch line.
“Did Mrs. Burke talk to you? What did you say?” Jake tells me that he told Mrs. Burke that I coughed and Ms. Pryor sent me down, and everyone thought it was funny.
“No problem.” I figure that if I don’t get called down by the end of the day, I should be fine.
The next day at lunch, I’m about to sit down and eat lunch when I hear something that sends a chill down my spine.
“Dylan Leone to the office please, Dylan Leone to the office.” Over the loudspeaker.
I slowly walk down to the office, nervous about what I know is about to happen. What did Jenna say? What if I’m being called down so Mrs. Burke can tell me I’m not in trouble? I open the door. Mrs. Dipalma looks up from her desk.
“You left your water bottle in Mr. Dolecki’s room.”