Ditching Class at Hammond High
Mischief of Rats
by James Timothy Peters
Wasn’t a big fan of my 7th hour class, so I decided to ditch and waste time doing nothing instead.
So there I was, walking the school halls between my 6th & 7th hour class, debating on what I was going to do. While other students scurried about, trying to get to class on time, I took my time heading for the exit. I knew I wasn’t going to class, I subconciously already decided it. I just hadn’t come to terms with myself yet. Besides, it was Friday, the sun was shining and the snow had almost completely melted. I wanted to get this weekend started!
There were at least two minutes before the final bell rang. The halls started to thin out, making my way to the exit doors that much clearer.
Well, it’s now or never…but wait, the doors are opening. All of sudden, out from the bright sunlight shinning through the doors, I didn’t see clearly until the doors completely shut with a loud bang, there stood Officer Strovyak!
He was blocking my escape.
The bell is going to ring any second and he’s going to wonder where I was headed.
What do I do? What do I do?
Is it too late to turn around and play it off like I’m running late?
I don’t know. I don’t know.
I noticed Officer Strovyak was looking up the stairs, not paying attention to me, so I darted quickly into the boys room.
This is great.
I’m trapped. I know he’s going to come in here and check, I just know it.
I looked at the ceiling above the toilet and noticed a ceiling tile was moved out of place. I walked closer to it and saw that there was an opening. A big opening.
I climbed up on the toilet stall partition walls and got closer to the ceiling. I moved the ceiling tile over a little bit more and stuck my head up as high as I could. There was plenty of room up here.
The bathroom walls didn’t go all the way up, meaning I can actually sit on top of the wall. There were wires holding up the drop ceiling that were secured to an even higher ceiling.
Just then the tardy bell rang.
I moved the ceiling tile over a little bit more and jumped up and sat on top of the wall. I then slid the ceiling tile back to the position I first found it.
I sat silently for a few seconds and sure enough, I heard Officer Strovyak walking. You could tell it was him by the sound of his gun belt. He was carrying a bunch of crap. You could hear everything he was carrying bang around and the sound of the leather creaking was unmistakable.
I sat quietly and didn’t make a sound.
I heard him step off the carpeted hallway and onto the polished tile floor that was in the boys room. The heel of his shoes striking the tiles quickly heightened my already risen anxiety.
The clomping of his boots seemed like it when on forever..but then they stopped.
What’s he doing?
Then I heard the sound of his heels again. This time going back down the long tiled hall back to the school hallways.
And what a wonderful sound that was.
But then I started thinking.
I didn’t hear which direction he could have gone. In fact, I didn’t hear anything.
Where’d he go?
Is he standing guard right outside the boys room?
My thinking got the best of me.
I figured that since I was stuck up here I might as well go exploring. As long as I stay on top of these walls, everything should be fine…I think.
I got to my hands & knees and carefully crawled along. I went about twenty feet before I realized that there wasn’t much to explore. I discovered that there were walls that went completely up to the higher ceiling. I had to turn around and head back. Not that easy. I was afraid I was going to fall on top of the drop ceiling and crash through like I did in another part of the school.
But that’s a different story.
I managed to get back to where I was, but now I was trapped. I had no idea where Officer Strovyak went off to, and I had no idea who else might be out in the hall.
Unfortunately, I chose the exit doors closest to the office and I didn’t want to risk running into a faculty member. Especially the dreaded, Vice-Principal Abrego.
Vice-Principal Abrego didn’t play. He sooner swat you than look at you. And I think he had it out for me.
I couldn’t risk it.
My ass couldn’t risk it.
So I sat up there.
For fifty-five minutes I sat on top of a wall no wider than eight inches.
In the dark.
When the bell finally rang to let school out, I stayed on top of the wall just in case. I didn’t want to be seen walking out when I wasn’t seen walking in. I’ve got to play this smart.
I heard the hallway getting filled with students eager to get the hell out and go home.
I still waited though.
That’s when I heard students walking into the bathroom. These voices sounded familiar.
I figured it was time to climb down and surprise the shit out of someone.
What do you know?
I thought those voices sounded familiar.
It was two friends of mine.
Ryan and the younger McDonald.