She was in kindergarten in an all girl school. This was the seventies, and Katie loved everything about school except for getting up in the morning. Lately, the fun thing was to lean over and look under the partition into the next stall while you were in the restroom. That way, you didn't have to stop your conversation with your friend just because you had to go. It was also a fun and interesting way to meet new friends when both kindergarten classes were in the bathroom at the same time. There was an etiquette for initiating a conversation. You were supposed to stick your hand under the shared wall of the stall and ask "who's that?" The other girl would answer and you would look and say hey and life was good. If there was no answer, then you should look immediately, because this was still basically a public restroom and those could be tricky. Your friend could be in trouble and was depending on you to save her!
That day was like any other day. There was a break, she went to the bathroom with the rest of the class. She waited towards the end of the line. (She liked the ends, they were more special.) She entered her stall. She got to business. She looked down and saw shoes next to her. These were different shoes. She began protocol. Pointing, she asked "Who's that?", but there was no answer. She asked again, and again, no answer. Clearly, someone was in trouble. Katie was a very helpful girl and knew what she had to do. She looked under the stall "Who's in here?"
It was a woman. A woman she did not know. A woman with blond hair in a tight flip and a shocked expression. Katie sat back. She wanted to giggle and she wanted to throw up. She was very still and waited until she was sure that it was time for her mom to come get her. She was going to get in trouble with her teacher if she didn't leave the bathroom. She walked out and to the sinks. There was the woman.
"You! It was you!"
Katie ran. She ran and ran and ran and ran and ran. She ran all the way to her classroom and sat down quietly in her seat.
Someone came to the classroom and took her teacher out. When Mrs. May came back, she was not happy.
"Miss Wills has said that someone peeped on her while she was in the bathroom. Who did it?"
Peeped! Katie didn't peep! She looked, it was different. If Miss Wills was in trouble, Katie would have been a hero. What should she do? Katie decided. She was going to keep quiet. If she was discovered, then she would probably cry and that would be bad, so keeping quiet was a good idea.
The classroom clocked ticked. Mrs May said "we are going to wait until someone confesses and apologizes to Miss Wills."
There was no way Katie was apologizing; Miss Wills had ugly hair. The clock kept ticking. Katie thought that she may cry soon and be discovered.
Evie raised her hand. "Sarah and I looked under the wall." "Thank you Evie. Will you and Sarah come with me?"
Katie watched them go. Miss Wills would know that it wasn't Evie and Sarah. She did have ugly hair, but she had good eyes.
Mrs. May brought Evie and Sarah back. "Evie and Sarah have apologized. They are very brave. I expect that no one will look under the stall doors and walls again."
Katie had no idea what had happened. She was free. All she had to do was avoid Miss Wills.
In second grade, Katie met her new teacher, Miss Wills.
June 4, 2012
This is my first blog post in response to Kellie Elmore's Free Write Friday (FWF). For those of you who are unfamiliar with Free Write Friday, you can get more information here http://kellieelmore.com/free-write-friday/. I have tweeted some micropoems in response to a FWF prompt. This is the prompt for this story:
O.k., I know you have all heard that old saying, “…up shit creek without a paddle”, right? (Or maybe it’s just a southern thing, I don’t know.) Well, if you haven’t let me just break it down for ya. We have all been in a mess, a pickle, in a …tight spot, right? When times were hard and you couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, hence…up shit creek without a paddle. Often times we are able to look back on those situations and find humor, a lesson learned or just realize that it really wasn’t as bad as we thought…or maybe it was but you survived. Some great stories can almost always be found from these…ripples in life and for FWF, I’d like you to share them. Be poetic, be humorous, be inspirational…just don’t forget to be real, raw and most importantly, just write! You know what to do.