“Smile now.” Mother pointed her Fancy camera at my siblings and me for the customary photo of the first day of school. Our new clothes worn proudly. Our unscuffed shoes stiff and in need of breaking in.
“Come on mommy. The bus is almost here!” This from brother Tom on the one and only day he’d willingly ride the bus. From tomorrow on, he would be whining about the "homework" he has. We all tried to make him ready for school, but he just wouldn't listen.
“Hold on kids. I need the flash in this dim light.” This made no sense to me with the morning sun on the edge of the horizon making us squint. Mother clicked and cranked the camera with no flash of the bulb, making her curse.
The bus careened around the corner and came to a squeaky stop at the curb. Leaving Mother on the curb, we piled onboard, excited to meet our friends while hoping that the older kids wouldn’t pick on us.
My brother found a seat next to his friend, Mathew Bishop. I overheard his conversation about the new Pokemon card.
I found the first seat available, next to tiny Karen Kowalski. Her little face wet with tears. Her little shoulders trembling. First day of Kindergarten with no older siblings to help her adjust had proven too much for the shy six year old.
“HI Karen. Are you scared?”
I found my brand new pack of Kleenexes and offered her one. The fear on her face was too much for a 6 year old. My heart went out to her. She mopped at her face and tried to be brave for me.
“Thanks.” She mewed.
“Hey you don’t have to be scared. You’re not alone.” I was older and more experience by five years. A veteran to this school business.
Karen looked doubtful with her pink bottom lip quivering.
“Do you know who your teacher is yet Karen?” I prayed it would be Miss Tunseth, the same one I had for kindergarten. She was sweet and soothing. Miss Riddle would put Karen over the edge and she’d probably pee her pants like my sister Mary did for the fear of asking to use the Bathroom.
Karen shrugged her shoulders. “I don’t know....yet”
Karen had a tight grip on my hand as we stepped off the bus and in through the glass doors. I promised to help her find her room but I was anxious to get to my own classroom. I’d be so embarrassed if I were the last one in my classroom.
We walked the hall of the kindergarten classrooms and I cringed when Miss Riddle hovered in her doorway with a look of doom on her colorless face.
“Hi Miss Riddle. This is Karen Kowalski. She doesn’t know which classroom she belongs in.”
Karen looked down at her black Mary-Janes and gave a forcefully smile. That’s when I saw the sign of yellow on the floor below her shiny new shoes. Miss Riddle ‘s back remained rigid and her mouth pursed like the hind end of a goat. I recognized the look as she opened her lipless mouth to rail on Karen’s inexcusable weakness of bodily function when Miss Tunseth quickly interrupted.
“You must be Karen. Hi, I’m Miss Tunseth your new teacher. Welcome to kindergarten!” Miss Tunseth rescued poor Karen and gave her a pair of clean clothes and a special sticker for being in her class.
Before I excused myself to head to my own new classroom, Karen actually smiled at me. Thank God for teachers like Miss Tunseth!
Author Notes: This story took long to write.. Hope you guys like It -'.'-