“I have heard it! I have heard enough!”
She slid her chair back with a thunderous woosh and towered over me. And, I’m sorry, I have to admit, I burst out laughing. Mrs.
Widdle was as tall as Menu on two legs while I stood an impressive 4 feet! And no, I do not play basketball, thank you. So it was just hilarious how powerful she tried to portray herself.
First she tried yelling, but cats can do better. Now she stood on the desk, her bright yellow heels screaming in my eyes.
I fall to the floor, I can’t take this feeling that’s tickling in the pit of my stomach.
“This is not a laughing matter, Brandon Shnelly Jones.” Why was she pronouncing my full name? Perhaps a mother wannabe, she never had any children on her own, fun fact from yours truly.
“I have had it with your annoying leering face, your suffocating bolts of laughter, your smart alecky eyes! You better tell the truth, or so help me—”
“But I am telling the truth,” I manage to gulp out, trying to swallow the rest of my giggles. Students are now flooding the hallway, peeking in the door.
While I don’t mind some attention, I just wanted to tell the truth and get out of here. Menu is waiting for me.
“Honest. When do I lie about anything?” I raise up my hands, asking for surrender.
Mrs. Widdle’s eyes sliced into my own black ones, and I realized I made a mistake. “When?! When?!” Her red, wet mouth shuddered, causing my skin to reciprocate.
I bet you that my skin burned darker than it already was from her stare. I flinched and turned away. Man, this woman is crazy.
She’s gonna eat me, she is about to pounce…but then I look and she averted her head so sharply I’m surprised it didn’t fall off and roll across the floor.
She shoved the papers she scattered all over the place, her eyes doing a great job avoiding mine.
“We are done here, Brandon.”
“No, rephrase that. I am done. Just go home. You are about to be in fifth grade in a few months. So please—” She blew a hurricane, causing more papers to scurry off the desk. “No more excuses.”
And that is how you escape the wrath of your principal, without any further actions or phone calls from hardworking parents!
Thank you, thank you…well nah, just thank me later when you use the same tactics on your principal.
I ran home, my curls bobbing in the wind. Just have to say, I have some waves in my hair for days man! Not bragging, just telling you.
Who needs a bus or a bike when you can just leap over little kids’ heads as you run through the playground, hearing their cries that make your heart pump blood of satisfaction?
Who needs it when you can zip through the narrowed streets, with dull cars buzzing in and out, adults beeping with all their might as if their life depended on it?
And yes the screams, such a beautiful symphony! And it gets even better.
Sometimes, if you do it consistently enough, you might even receive a string of cuss words, customizable based on how severe you make your offense to the victim.
I always run these delicacies over and over in my head, so I don’t forget to write the words down in my journal when I get home. You never know when you might need some cussing.
Maybe on a rainy day, who knows?
Oh and yes. The best part of running home is that you get to see the girls. All in their disturbing glory, with their sickening pinks.
And even when they try to wear more manly colors, like black or blue, it still looks like death breathed on them. And their giggles.
Those creepy, mysterious giggles that scratches my body, itching me silly. I’m serious, those things laugh at nothing. I always have an urge to scurry away from them.
But that can’t stop me, Brandon the Extraextraordinare! I made that up, by the way. If you need any suggestions for a cool name, you know where to find me. Anyway I do not get scared. I cannot.
Who else will brag about who messed with the girls the next afternoon? It’s all up to me. I ball up my fists and barrel right through them, hearing their shrill voices that crawl down my back.
They scream out my name, but I don’t look back. My damage I committed is done. I’m not trying to damage myself by looking in those stares of gore. I’m not that crazy.
I finally bound up my front steps into our lovely, ugly home. It’s brown and stained and it stretches, big and fat, on the lawn. I love it. I bust in the door. “Menu, I’m home!”
“It’s about time,” he said, his voice rattling in the kitchen. “Do you have it?”
I clutched it close to my chest. “Yup. It was some work, but I finally retrieved it.”
“And? Did you tell? What happened?” His voice sounded shrill.
“Yes, yes. I did. But as usual, she didn’t believe me.” I bang down on the sofa. “Which is why we need to prove it today.”
“You think,” Menu muttered, and he trotted from the shadows. He sniffed his black nose, then wagged his tail. “You got it!” he yipped, leaping onto the table.
“Down, Menu! You know Mom won’t approve of you being on the table.”
Menu’s eyes twinkled, the same that I hold whenever I want to frustrate Mrs. Widdle or little kids. “But she isn’t here is she?”
“Oh yeah, you’re right. Carry on.”
He did, sending the papers flying everywhere. He grabbed them with his teeth, then arranges them neatly in a semicircle.
“So what’s on the Menu?” I yawned as Menu sniffed all the papers carefully.
“They all smell very appetizing, and my stomach is rumbling in anticipation, but…” he shook his ears forlornly. “Something’s not right. I don’t think this is your homework.”
I spring from the couch. “What! What do you mean?” I scan the papers, but the words are too much for me. Overwhelming my brain, I can’t breathe, breathe… I flop to the floor.
“I’m sorry I let you down, my friend,” I utter breathlessly. “But I cannot read it.”
“Stop your dramatics,” Menu snapped, baring his teeth at me. He cocked his ears back to the paperwork, his nose jumping like me when I’m restless. “Well, nevertheless, I don’t care. I am hungry.
Let’s do this.” He licks his chops, his slobber splashing my face.
I crouch next to him and peer over him as he carefully encases the first paper, filled with suffocating words, in his mouth. Then he violently tears off the piece.
Chews thoughtfully, closes his eyes, like he always does.
“Well? Well? What is it? What is it?” I can’t help it; everytime he does his intriguing work, words have to explode from my mouth. I hop, I flutter.
Someone, anyone, if you want me to play a bird of some sort for your play or movie, I’m your guy, cuz right now I’m nailing the role.
“Shttterr,” Menu warbles, the paper turning into wet snowballs in his mouth.
“What!?” My heart is yelling, along with my curiosity.
Menu swallowed with a big gulp and blew paper breath in my face. “I said shut up! How can I focus when you’re all yippin and yappin?”
“So?” I retorted back. “Don’t act like you have never done those hysterics before, ie, to Oreo next door.”
Menu’s ears perked, and through his brown fur I can still see him blush. I have laser eye vision, let me tell you. “Well that, that is different.
” He trotted off the table and flopped on his back, his feet hanging in the air. I start jumping around. “Okay, you ate, so tell me, Menu. Tell me!”
“Silence!” Menu barked. I crossed my arms and twisted myself as tight as possible, waiting. His eyes were closed and his floppy pink tongue hung out.
He remained like this for two agonizing minutes. ‘Hurry up, hurry up, please make him hurry up,’ I pray to God. I guess he ignored me, for Menu was still on the ground.
But finally he opened one eye, then the other, and he shook his body promptly.
“Okay…” I peered in his face.
Menu wiggled his nose. “Well,” he said in a dreamy voice. “It was very delicious…tasted of the usual, wet refreshing grass, except better than grass. The ink tasted magnificent.
Like oodles of chocolate.”
“I thought you weren’t supposed to eat chocolate.” I raised an eyebrow, but Menu mumbled on.
“Such a warm but cool deliciousness, all in one bite, and, if I’m not mistaken—” Menu paused and stared in the distance, “I could taste lite fresh lilacs, rolling in the sun.
The same smell your mother uses when she goes on dates.”
“Perfume?” I made a face. “There was perfume on my homework?”
“Yes,” Menu yawned. He padded back to the kitchen, with me at his heels. “So what does it say? What are the answers?”
Menu finally looked at me, his eyes wiser than an owl’s. “That I cannot tell you yet. This homework, if it was your homework, I shall say, was a very complicated one to contemplate today.
I will have to tell you in the morning.”
“The morning?” I wailed and I was so close to shaking him so the answers can fly out of him, when the front door opened.
“Brandon? Brandon!” My mom squinted and pushed her curls up her face. Her hair looked like eels were nesting there because of all the sweat from work, but I didn’t tell her this.
I just wrap my arms around her, spinning her round, away from the crime scene. Menu and I were so wrapped up in our argument that we forgot to clean up.
He sprinted across the floor, sweeping all the papers under the couch with his paw.
“Oh Brandon!” she nuzzled my cheek. Her warm brown face on mine made me feel guilty, every time. “Have you been a good little boy today?”
“Yes Mommy,” I whisper, my guilt rising.
“Good. Work is so hard. It’s refreshing to see a good boy, and a good dog, when I get home. Right Menu?”
Menu pranced over, lolled his tongue, spun around. He says he hates doing that, but I don’t believe him. I know he loves Mommy as much as I do.
“Good boy.” She pats his head, then caresses mine. “You both are good boys.”
We both wait, slapped with stupid smiles on our faces, until she goes to the bathroom to undress.
I turn to him, hiss, “What do you mean tomorrow? I need the answers to the test. And you have them. And you’re withholding it from me!”
“You know what you have to do, Brandon.” His eyes clawed in mine, and he headed up the carpeted steps. “It was the deal, right?”