Posts tagged drama
Posts tagged drama
Mrs. Sirko was a bird-thin Ukrainian lady, often gossiped about by the students because she had the most unfortunate nose in all of Poland—it was too big for her face; a hatchet made of cartilage and bone that came to an upward point. However, she was my favorite teacher of all time. She taught Russian at the gimnazjum I attended and always smiled at me whenever I raised my hand in class, always explaining the rules to me in ways that I could understand them.
It was the first time someone ever cared that I was trying, and it showed when I brought that note home.
I’m not exactly sure what was said at that parent-teacher conference after I brought home a 6, but school got a lot more fun after that. I wound up being pulled out of my science class and put into English and German courses in addition to the Russian and Polish I was already taking over the course of the next several years.
Calico shared an apartment across town with a dude named Valour, and with the way the apartment smelled, I could tell they were both typical guys at first. Something smelled like grease and burnt toast, but underneath it was a metallic tang with which I had become too accustomed in the past few days.
I waited outside in the cold for almost three minutes before Calico finally buzzed me in. I figured he thought I was a Jehovah’s Witness or a scout selling popcorn or something. In either case, I was shivering when he finally pulled me off the sidewalk.
“Do you always do that?” I asked.
“Yep,” Calico said. “We get a lot of unwanted guests around here. Too many church groups and shit like that.”
1. Two minutes left. That’s what the scoreboard was telling us, along with a not-so-subtle reminder that Appleton North was ahead, no thanks to an interception that Beecher had lost. They had taken the ball all the way to the 12-yard line and from there it was an easy touchdown against us. At a score of 21-23, we all shot exhausted glares at each other and got ready for them to kick it to us.
It hadn’t been a bad run after Appleton’s touchdown, really. We’d managed to get the ball just shy of the 50 when two of them finally took down our returner. However, the coach called a timeout, pulling the offensive line over to the visitor’s sideline and calling us all into a huddle. I pulled myself away from the water cooler, grabbing my maroon helmet in the process.
“There’s still a chance,” Coach Kettlesen had told us. “Just run it and whatever you do, don’t give them another interception. Do whatever you can to get within field goal range.”
Now, primarily he had been talking to Cid Eggers, our allegedly fearless quarterback, but I could feel his eyes plowing through mine and trying to reach into my brain. It made my stomach churn, and I could feel my hands starting to shake. When he actually turned to me, my heart was pounding too loudly in my ears for me to hear him, but I could see his lips moving.
I cupped my hand to my ear. It was probably the only bit of communication he understood from me, other than the occasional nod or shake of my head or raised eyebrow.
“I said get warmed up. We’re going to need you soon.”