by - April 07, 2009

"Kaylin, it's time to wake up now."

My mom's voice woke me from the half sleep I was in, and my dreams stopped immediately. Why were Ashley and Randy in the movie I had been watching last night? Was that a camper?
These dreamy thoughts gradually subsided as I pulled myself as quietly as possible into the cold, stale air. Quickly grabbing the clothes I had conveniently stashed on the floor, I tiptoed barefoot out of the room.

Once I was safely locked in the bathroom I proceeded to get dressed. "I'm glad I picked these pants," I thought sleepily to myself. "They're comfortable and one of my favorites." I would need the comfort through the four hour test ahead. The smiling ducks on the walls stared at me in mock horror. "Aren't you going to do your make-up today," they asked. I relented, quickly opening the cabinet to the right. I stationed myself on the side of the sink. Sitting on the counter was the best way to see myself. My horrible, sightless eyes needed to be that close to see my face.

While I was putting on the silver lining around my eyes, I thought about the positives to this day of testing. I wouldn't have to see Ms. Stewart, our evil long term pre-algebra substitute. My math teacher had broken her ankle on a field trip, and her replacement was less than adored. I'd also be able to read in complete silence for the remainder of time I had after I was done. I was in a gripping mage-murder mystery by Tamora Pierce and I couldn't wait to find out how things ended.

I quickly brushed my teeth and wobbled to the sock basket in our hallway right outside the bathroom door. Guess I'd have to borrow a pair of Jayden's today. There was no time for me to sit there and match up my own. Plus, they were white so it wouldn't really matter. I was finally beginning to feel awake as I pranced down the stairs. (I always prance, it's fun)

I had exactly seven minutes before I was scheduled to be headed out to the bus. Mom had already made an excellent lunch, featuring salmon spread and crackers, so I pulled on my blue flowered Nike shoes and walked into the kitchen.

"Good morning love, are you going to eat today," my mom asked. "You don't have much time."

"Yeah I'll eat," I responded, pulling a packet of Carnation Instant Breakfast out of a box. "You know what mom," I asked," I think that this is the best tasting chocolate milk ever invented. Carnation should expand and make a whole line of flavored milk. They'd put Nestle out of business. It tastes like it has malt in it."

" That'd be good for them, but then you would just drink all the supply that we had anyway. Then you'd ask for more, and I would say...when it's on sale."

She was right, I would. I quickly downed the milk and walked back into our living room. Pulling on my green coat, slinging my backpack over my shoulder and grabbing my violin, I gave mom a quick hug goodbye before stepping out into the spring breakup air. It wasn't long before the bus came to pick lonely me up from the stop on our corner.

I climbed up the steps with practice, walking swiftly down the aisle. My friend Morgan said hello to me as I sat down in front of her seat. We talked the rest of the way to school, laughing about the recent cop story I had to tell and smiling at the cute pictures of her little baby brother.

As we pulled up to the school, I walked with Morgan to the door, before turning off into the small side hallway where the orchestra classroom was. I quickly stashed my violin in my locker, then turned around and made my way through the swarms of eighth graders that were buzzing around the main floor. Once I got to the stairs I was home free, all the way to my locker. As I reached the top, I smiled at my friend Lily.

"Hey Kaylin," she said. "Guess what?"

"What," I asked, only half interested.

"Mrs. Thomson is back." She was grinning ear to ear.

"Really," I asked hopefully. I wouldn't have to put up with Ms. Stewart anymore? Her college methods would be used at some other school? I was grinning in an instant. My eyes started watering. "Wait, I can't cry," I thought. The first thing I did was walk straight into her classroom, backpack and all.

But the best part was the hug that she gave me the minute she realized I was there, throwing aside the rule in our handbook that said, "Hugging is Not Acceptable."

Only a great teacher could do that.

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