I BOTTLED IT

Looking around cautiously, I felt a twang of anticipation. My bag was nowhere to be seen: Jack must have gotten to it. Anger swept my entire body. “He better be ready.” I whispered under my staggered breath. As I start to walk my way across the vast, open battleground with celerity, teachers start to detect my zealous emotions. I can’t let this happen to me: I will catch him. Vision narrowing. Heart pounding. My bag, lying unimpeachably next to the set of swings, catches my eye line. I accelerate. Sprint. Jack, a deer in head lights, doesn’t have time to brace for impact…

Jack and I were friends at first sight. Walking into class on the very first day, we exchanged nervous glances with a warm smile. I made a quick note to myself that this boy was a nice one. After a while, I ask of his name. ‘Jack Sellis.’ He replies with a cheeky grin. From that moment onwards, Jack became my confederate.

There was nothing Jack enjoyed more that to play practical jokes. Spitting on his hand to give you a high five, making a farting noise as you sat down: basically anything that was mildly irritating and childish. As someone who is very tolerable, I found Jack’s mannerisms rather amusing. Everyone else did not.

Thursday came around with an abhorrent temperature. Walking into the tumultuously fractious classroom, I slung my bag onto the floor beside the cloakroom. A boring, dull, hot, feverish morning followed: even Jack seemed to be drained of his exasperating antics. Heat beat through the windows punishingly. Sweat dripping from my forehead, I sauntered to the back of the classroom furtively to retrieve a bottle of water in my bag. Dehydrated and sweltering profusely, I couldn’t see my bag. My countenance dropped as I try to keep my cool. Thinking that the bag could have been kicked under a desk by the children in the class, I got on my hands and knees to started crawling around in desperation. I needed this water. After minutes of flustered crawling, I realised the room is silent. I looked up. 29 eyes were fixated on me. I stood slowly, unnoticeably red from my embarrassment due to the pernicious heat. Scanning the room, trying to explain myself, I discern the fact that Jack was edging his way closer to the door with a large object in his hand.

“Jack!” I called: making no mistake in my tone of sternness and assertiveness. Jack turned; opened his mouth, as if he was about to make a sarcastic comment towards me, and ran out of the room. I followed instinctively. Breaking through the double doors of freedom, Jack had seemingly disappeared. It’s break time. Children roamed the playground: enshrouding the building. I stared.

… Before we hit the floor, regret fills my entire body. Jack’s ribs cracking between my temple and the hard floor, he screams in extreme pain. I instantly flick my tie out of my mouth and stand up. Rubbing the tar-mac pellets from my wrinkled and sweat stained shirt, I glance around. To my dismay, the principle is frozen. He cannot hide the disgust on his face. I see the puddle of tears (and possibly some blood) beside Jack’s head and attempt to lift up the fragile boy. He screams louder in pain. Defeated, I reach for my bag. Cautiously, I unzip and open. I longed for the taste of the water, to clear my head and help me explain myself to the principle, whom is almost certainly going to fire me from my role as a teacher. I hide my head within the bag as I search for the bottle. I feel a twang on my heart. The memory of leaving my bottle on the kitchen counter steals what’s left of my humanity...

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