Olivia: An Introverted Virgo of the Worst Kind
It started like this:
Detention that day was downstairs with Mrs. Reznik, the music teacher. When I walked into the music room, a cluttered, windowless basement space near the A.V. closet and the school’s boiler room, the little radio on Mrs. Reznik’s desk was playing a commercial with a catchy jingle, that “Smile, Smile, Smile” one about teeth. It kind of stuck in my mind. That’s not unusual for me. There’s always some tune or other drifting around in my head.
Anyway, just as the bell rang I took a seat near the back. I was trying to concentrate on my breathing. I sometimes get panic attacks in stressful situations and right then I needed to keep calm. Nobody spoke. Mrs. Reznik sat at her desk, coughing and scowling as she leafed through a giant pile of paperwork. A tiny, narrow-faced lady with a body shaped like a piccolo, skin like worn shoe leather, and a startlingly large nest of lustrous brown hair, she was a sight to behold. I’d seen her reduce kids to tears with one look. There were rumors that the school administration had been trying to force her into retirement, but they couldn’t get rid of her. I could understand why. The woman scared the pee out of me.
I studied the blackboard where she’d set down the law in sharp, spidery chalk letters.
1. No gum chewing, food or drink in the classroom.
2. You will remain seated.
3. You will not talk.
4. The first time you break a rule, your name will go on the board. The second time, you will receive another detention.