In freshman year of high school

I had sandy manus as my speech

Teacher

Sixth hour, last class of the day

I gave a speech about ghosts once

That was a real hit

Anyway

One day as class was ending

We all gathered by the door as

We did

Waiting for the bell

And a few of us slipped out

A few minutes early

I don’t know why

I think it was something

The seniors did, it was the

Only class I had as a freshmen

Where I was the only freshmen

And it felt like I was surrounded

By adults

For the most part they were all

Nice to me, like hanging out with

A bunch of babysitters

One kid, jon Hernandez, I’d known

His younger brother gabe (not

Known, per se, but he’d been a

Classmate, he was a year younger

Than me in my sister’s grade)

john and I slipped out one day before

The bell and we started running

Down B wing toward the locker halls

if Manus didn’t catch us

before we disappeared there’d

Be nothing she could do, at least

That was how I understood it,

But we ran and our backpacks

Were bouncing on our backs

all ridiculous-like

And we had nearly made it

To the shelter of the lockers

In b-wing, I can still see them

The lockers are darkened

For some reason, the halls

Are carpeted, we’re on

The second floor and

Running with our backpacks

Bouncing comically on our

Backs and jon — this really

Handsome 15 year old kid,

Looked almost like a young

Professional soccer player,

Hispanic, dark hair, model-esque

Dark eyes, kind of ezra miller

But with darker skin

and a better jawline—

Just goes “ohhhh, pissss!!”

In anticipation of hearing

Manus’s voice call down

The hall for us to get back

And wait for the bell

but

I didn’t look back and

We kept going and we

Made it and as far as I know

Manus never even came to the

Door, probably didn’t care

anyway

Everything is a work in progress.

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