I’m sure it was interesting, but I wasn’t really paying attention. Just when he started in on the origin of the trick rituals of April Fool’s Day, I had glanced back towards Sarah. I’d been startled to see that she had been looking at me. She quickly averted her eyes and her eyes never moved back to me.
But I couldn’t help obsessing about it and wondering if it had just been a chance glance, the way a person normally looks around the room and their eyes cover everyone in it, or if she had been actually looking at me.
I started to wonder if Sarah had been thinking about last April Fools. About the trick I had played on her.
That morning, Sarah’s friend Julie helped me distract Sarah while I snuck off with her cell phone. I used clear packing tape and taped down the # key, but you couldn’t see that the button was depressed. The intention was that every time Sarah went to use her phone, she’d be unable to dial properly. But what happened ended up being more frustrating. Because holding down the # key put Sarah’s phone into “lock” mode. And since Sarah had never used the password feature and didn’t know the password default, her phone became pretty much useless. It took three days before she could crack the code and use her phone again.
Then I started thinking about what had happened that night. Sarah had been really pissed at Julie and I all afternoon. But we’d originally been planning on renting a movie and watching it at Sarah’s house, so that’s what we did.
The three of us were in the family room at Sarah’s, and the trailers had just started playing, when Sarah went upstairs to make popcorn. A few minutes later, Julie and I heard this loud crash and went running out of the family room to find Sarah sprawled at the bottom of the stairs on her back, her right arm twisted at a funny angle underneath her head, one leg resting on the second step, the other one folded underneath her. The popcorn bowl was overturned on the floor beside her and there was popcorn everywhere.
At the top of the stairs both Sarah’s parents were, like Julie and I, standing there, horrified. “My baby,” Sarah’s mom started to scream and turned to bury her face against Sarah’s father’s chest.
That brought the horror of what had happened home to me. Sarah could either be unconscious or worse. Broken arm, broken leg, broken neck. I fell to my knees beside Sarah and started wailing her name like some twisted banshee.
That’s when Sarah sat up, pointed at Julie and I and said: “Gotcha!”
Apparently, her parents were in on it too. They were pretty cool, that way, often participating in the fun and antics. And of course, I’d completely forgotten the fact that Sarah was double jointed. Once I had seen her reading a paperback held by an arm twisted around behind her head. The double-jointed thing that day freaked me out a bit, but about three hours later, when Sarah and I were rolling around under the sheets together, she showed me some other interesting uses of being double jointed.
So, I’d been thinking about Sarah and about April Fool’s Day last year instead of paying attention in class. It makes me wonder if Robbie could tell I wasn’t clued in to his lesson, and it pissed him off.
Because when class was over and I went to talk to him, there was a group of students hanging around to ask questions and talk with him after class. That always happened, but Robbie usually made sure to hang around and talk with me.
So I hung back, like before. But, instead of staying in the classroom as the students slowly dissipated, Robbie started heading down the hall to the staff room, still answering their questions and chatting with them, but in a hurried sort of fashion.
Man, I was stupid. I hope it’s something else and not that I pissed Robbie off.