Hopscotch? – A J Flanigan

There was heavy rain in the parking lot. Everywhere, really, but especially in the parking lot. Cracks as trenches in the puddles. Dots and circles. From the desk closest to the window, I couldn’t make out the dots, but there were the circles.

Everywhere, circles. Like the moon.

There was Mrs. Jennings trying to get my attention. Me, staring out the window, my hand on my chin, and Mrs. Jennings asking me a question about biology, probably. I was nowhere near participating in the intellectual rigor of the seventh grade, just staring out the window, staring at the moon.

There was lunch that day. I had to sit in Mrs. Jennings’ class, because she had to reprimand me for not paying attention during seventh grade biology. Again. I sat with Annie Myers, who I remember being really smart and quiet and well-behaved, so I have no idea why she was there. She must’ve been staring at the moon, too. Mrs. Jennings didn’t talk. We three just sat there for however long, maybe fifteen minutes, and then Annie and I walked to the lunchroom for a shortened meal.

I remember a poster on a locker about drug safety, and one next to it about some sort of soccer tournament. And there was about a minute of just us two stepping along the linoleum hallway floor—no slamming lockers, no voices, just high pitched footsteps.

I remember Annie asking me, when we first stepped out of the classroom, “Do you know what you’re gonna do over spring break?” and I remember not answering, and there being an awkward silence that lasted to when she moved away in tenth grade.

I remember that day being the first I avoided jumping in puddles on the long walk home, maybe because I was conscious of getting my socks wet. Maybe I forgot my rainboots.

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