Monday, September 12, 2011

Crab Mentality (Part 11)

June 8, 2010 (6am)
   It was 6am on the clock. For a second, Chalano stared at the clock from his bed. He felt so irresponsible. 6am?! He was supposed to wake up at 5:30am. He left his bed, took the blue bath towel from the closet, and ran out of his bedroom. The living room was noisy. The television was tuned in  to the morning news, and their neighbors were on the same channel. As he hurried to the first-floor bathroom, he felt like he didn't sleep at all; he felt like he had been awake all night.

   There wasn't enough time to eat breakfast. He didn't feel hungry anyway. He hurried down their indoor staircase, and walked toward the front door. "Charlie," his mother called from the table. "You must eat your breakfast before going to school."
   "No, mother. I got no more time for breakfast." Chalano replied as he reached for the doorknob.
   "'No time'?! You should always have time for food," his mother yelled. Oh, no. She's angry. Chalano turned, and reluctantly walked to the table.
   "You should be thankful that you have breakfast," she lectured as he put his backpack on the floor, and sat down on his favorite chair. "Some kids go to school hungry. Do  you want to be just like them?"
   Breakfast was rice and "ginisa" (a mixture of tomatoes and onions with sprinkles of garlic). He felt the slices of onions in his mouth, not wanting to chew nor swallow them because they just .... did not taste good. He never liked "ginisa." She gave him the coldest look ever, and asked, "Where's the answer?"
   He got so frightened, that he quickly swallowed the slices of onions and almost choked. "No, mother," he had to give an answer.
   "Did you know that eating breakfast is good for you? You should never skip it. It will help you through the morning until the next meal, which is lunch. You should always eat breakfast, lunch, and supper. Breakfast helps you focus in school, and being able to focus means you will be able to get perfect grades."
   Chalano mumbled to himself, "How can I get perfect grades when breakfast tastes so disgusting?"
   His mother suddenly yelled, "What did  you say?!"
   Uh-oh. She heard it. Why is it that she doesn't hear me when I speak to her, but she hears my mumbles so clearly? Chalano's eating speed increased, only because he wished to get out of the situation as soon as possible.
   "Oh, my God," his mother yelled. "My son is the most unappreciative child around here!"
   She kept yelling. She was very angry. Chalano was too scared to even taste his food anymore. He quickly finished his breakfast, and stood up to get his backpack. She was watching him. She yelled, "Why is your backpack on the floor?! It was still clean! It is no longer clean! Imagine all of the germs on  that floor! You will carry your bag! You will put it on your lap in school! Imagine all of the germs that that bag will pass on to your clean school uniform! By Golly! What happened to your common sense,  Charlie?!"
   Chalano took the bag from the floor, and put its straps on his shoulders as he hurried out of the house. She yelled after him, "Are you not listening?! You are one hell of a rude child to turn your back at your own mother!"
   He closed the door behind him as she kept yelling inside the house. It felt so bad to be so rude to her. She was so mad at him, and she had a reason to be. He knew that she would never forgive him. After school, I will not go back home. He just wanted to stay away from her. She will not see me again. I will go somewhere else, and I will not get back home.
   He closed the gate behind him, and walked to the right instead of his usual route to the left. He was going to avoid Kim. Sorry for him, but the least who I need today is a noisy friend.

   "Good afternoon, class," John greeted as he stood in front of  the blackboard, and faced all of his fellow students. It was just after recess. Rays of the afternoon sun were beginning to reach into the classroom. "Today is the second day of school-year 2010-2011. As all of you know, it is our final year together at Shalton High."
   One of John's close friends clapped, and everyone in the classroom clapped as well. "July is our annual Arts  Month. We will be having painting contests, singing contests, etc. But the main event, the stage play contest, is what we've got to prepare for. Our class made it last  year," he said, and waved toward the muse of the class, Rella, who was his leading lady in their stage play that won in  2009. Applause.
   John liked to make speeches, but it was usually  not as special as this. Maybe he was doing this for the new student in class. Emma. "We're gonna start rehearsing this month. If you wish to join, you may audition at Room B on the second floor. Audition schedule is from 7am to 5pm, from Monday to Friday. We gotta win for this final year. So, join us, guys!"
   Applause. But John wasn't finished yet. Giving his charming smile, he said, "An appeal to students from 4th Project  Town, though: never consider joining this  play. The rehearsals will be difficult and require a huge amount of focus, determination, and cooperation. We don't need people who wait on others' path to start a fight."
   Kim, who was sitting at the front of Row 1, turned his head to look at Chalano. They were the only students in the class who were from 4th Project Town, and everyone knew it. The other students looked at Chalano and Kim. "Yes, we don't need people who make outrageous accusations," John's friend at  Row 3 declared.
   "We don't need people who have no respect for someone who is of higher rank," another one of his friends from Row 2 agreed.
   "The play would be better without a couple of troublemakers," John's friend from Row 1 said, looking at Chalano. Chalano glimpsed Kim turn away. He could feel everyone staring at him unrelentingly. He just kept looking on his own desk, and he didn't make any move. He swore to himself that he would remain that way as long as everyone kept staring at him. This is the worst situation that I've ever been in.

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