|We perched on high stools in Earth Science. Mr. George asked Stan about Periodic Elements: Iron, Fe, a brief description. I looked across the aisle. Stan was scared. I’d known him since kindergarten, never hung out.“Hello? Stan?” Mr. Parker pressed, meaty jowls quivering.
Stan stammered, “I’m sorry, Mr. P-Parker. I don’t know the answer.”
Mr. Parker smirked, “Well, gee Stan. Anything about the Periodic Table that you do know?”
Stan looked down. Sue Simmons lip trembled, like she might cry.
“I know h-hydrogen is H. It’s, it’s like, it’s n-number one.” Stan’s voice squeaked.
I wanted to clap. Way to go.
Mr. Parker’s eyes narrowed. “That’s great. Any idiot would know that.”
I closed my eyes. “Why are you such an ass?” I was shocked the words came out. Mr. Parker lurched, grabbed me from my seat. The class cheered.
After Vice- Principal Conrad lectured, I started three days of in-school suspension. My crime? Insubordination. I had to look that up in the dictionary.
During dinner, Mom said, “I’m proud you supported that poor Stan, honey. Please, no more bad words.”
“Stan picks his boogars and wipes them on the bus seats,” Melinda said.
I glared, chewed another forkful of spaghetti.
Dad said, “You sit there all day? That sucks, there’s a list of things to do around here.”
I nodded. “In-school suspension. It’s called insubordination.” My new favorite word.
Mom went to the kitchen to get more pasta.
He said, “Next time, don’t be so stupid.”