The Unnamed Protagonist


Spokane, WA, April 20th, 2001. I was left on the side of the road by my bus. I don't know why but I was. There was an empty pringles can left near the side of the road. I decided to pick it up but it was filled with mud so I elected against it. Spring is when the mud starts forming on the ground. I eventually walked along the side of the road further to no avail. I couldn't find any more bus stops. I was lucky to hitchhike a nice Toyota. I asked my new driver to bring me to my school and he did. I paid him five dollars for the trip which should cover the fare.

At my school, I was marked late. I had to go to the attendance office and clear up the reasoning as to why I was late. I then went to gym class for my 3rd period. My gym teacher Mr. Craig directed the class to run to Seattle. I then asked,

"Will there be any steep hills?"

Mr. Craig replied with no. Walking outside fearing for my safety, I started running towards the trail. I was expecting the trail to be the trail I remembered but was I bewildered by what lay in front of my eyes. The trail was not there anymore. It turned into Seattle. How did this happen? I don't know.

In Seattle, I recalled my Gym teacher telling us not to go to any shops or restaurants along the run. Of course, my classmates did the exact opposite of my gym teacher's words. I was standing in line with them, and I hadn't realized it. I knew it was too late to turn back because there were already five people behind me. Instead of cutting my losses, I decided to order a cotton candy-flavored ice cream. My classmates and I enjoyed our ice cream, so much that we couldn't run afterward. Everyone had bellyached about having brain freeze but we eventually had to put some hustle in our muscles.

Running again was tough. We ran slow, stupidly, and our legs were sagging along the street as we ran. We were caught by our gym teacher. How I think he knew we went to the store was the fact that our tongues mysteriously changed colors. He grabbed each and every one of us by the arm and dragged us back into the gym room. We had an entire class lecture (shouting match) about why we shouldn't go shopping during our runs and how many times we've broken the rules. I forgot to mention this isn't our first time. Our punishment was to be sent home and record a video of us cleaning our hallway wall at home.

Back at home, my parents welcomed me back in. My parents pondered the question of why I was home so early and then asked their question. I replied,

"My classmates and I got caught shopping when we were supposed to be running in gym class."

My parents then wallowed to me in tears and hugged me exclaiming:

"We know you're not bad, please stop hanging out with those troublemakers."

I told my parents

"They're not troublemakers and they're my classmates, I can't be away from them."

After talking to my parents, I decided to go rest in my bed. I thought to myself "Man, this was a tough day." Then I realized the countless more tough days I will have in my life. I fell asleep shortly. Waking up, I remembered that I had to complete the task Mr. Craig had given us. "Oh no," I thought. I knew my life was ruined at this point. I hurriedly tried cleaning the hallway wall. However, I forgot to turn on the camera. "I'm screwed." I thought.

Going back to school, I felt embarrassed. I thought I was the only one who hadn't done the assignment. I sat there for the first and second period, anxious over not having completed my assignment. I almost needed to go to the nurse because I was so nauseous.

When push came to shove, I caved in.

"I didn't complete my assignment, sorry."

Mr. Craig replied with:

"That's alright. In fact. I quit. You were the last student I asked, yet there were no fruits of labor."

Well, here we are with a whole class of hooligans and no teacher. "What should we do?" I thought. Bingo! We just play basketball. The entire class and I played basketball for the whole period, with the school being oblivious to our gym teacher's unexpected departure. Class ended and I had to say bye to my friends.

At the end of the school day, I went back on my bus. It started raining outside again because it's spring. It isn't unusual for it to rain during spring but this bus ride felt unusually slippery and bumpy. I asked the bus driver if everything was okay, and he replied with:

"Get off the bus."

Here I am, left on the side of the road again.

Published Nov. 3rd, 2021