Written: Amazing Grace
Crap. I have run in my stockings. Not only am I now mortified, crawling on my hands and knees from class to class, but I have to suffer a run in my hose too. I knew I should have played hooky today.
“Everyone is gathered here this morning for the auction of the Senior Class slaves. Bidding will start at $5.00. Highest bidder wins.” Principal Perdue’s* voice bounced from the microphone. “First up we have Lori Sims. Onedollaronedollarwhobidsonedollaronedollar! TwodollarstwodollarswhobidstwodollarsTWOdollars! Fivedollarsfivedollarsfivewhobidsfivedollars? Fivedollars! SOLD!”
My heart sat in my lap. Waves of sickly sweet ran through my veins. I did not want to do this, but I had no choice. “You have to show a united front if you want to plan your own Senior trip this year” had been drilled through my skull since we were told we had a chance to go somewhere different this year. I had to do this, period. Hopes floated to the paneled ceiling that someone would buy me as my turn to be auctioned came up.
“Stephanie Graves, come on up. Who’ll give me one dollar for Stephanie? Onedollaronedollaronedollarwhobidsonedollaronedollar? Anyone? Just one dollar and Stephanie is yours for the day. Onedollaronedollar.”
Whispers swirl like fudge in vanilla ice cream. My classmates are talking to one another. A hand goes up, joined by three other hands. I eat my eyebrows.
“Sold to Sara, Lori, Sherri, and Angela.”
I sit. Heaviness fills my lap in the form of books. My first task had been assigned to me.
“You will crawl on your hands and knees to every other class today.” Doom speaks. “Carry our books to our lockers when you aren’t crawling.”
“Is that it?”
Laughter. Stares. It’s hot down here on the floor despite the cool air from the vents I encounter. Giggles heard. My eyes meet my nemeses, standing there waiting and smirking. Prayers for a hole to be swallowed by go unanswered. Hand over hand, knee drag after knee drag, I make it to class. A hand hangs before my eyes, reaches out, helps me stand. Daggers of gratitude are sent out.
“We have five minutes left to the day,” the homeroom teacher says.
“Wait! We have one more job for Stephanie.” Doom speaks. “Stand on that chair, in the middle of the classroom, and sing Amazing Grace.”
No, no, no. Heart meets feet.
“How sweet the sound.”
Throbbing where my nose should be.
“That saved a wretch like me…”
“I once was lost, but now I’m found. Was blind but not now I see.”
Full on laughter.
My ankle snaps as I leap to the floor, my eyes threatening to flood the carpet. I run out of the classroom, down the hall, to the bathroom.
At least I don’t have to crawl anymore.