| Teen Fiction |

Teen Fiction: Out of the Classroom

I'd been waiting for those magic words to happen and jumped out of my seat. Six periods down two more to go. Gosh summer vacation couldn't come quick enough

The hubbub in the classroom would put the Amazon jungle’s chirping birds to shame. Leah Dina laughed as she pulled out her snack. “I knew my sister would exchange my corn chips for her potato chips. She cracks me up. I saw her near my schoolbag last night.” She ripped her snack open sending chips flying across my desk.

“If you don’t like chips you can send some my way” I said. I looked at my orange ruefully. “Just not in the mood of fruit.”

“But what’s with your diet Shani?” Dassy looked at me.

“Nah over for the day.”

“Take this.” Frumy handed me a chocolate chip cookie.

The bell rang but barely registered in my consciousness as Mindy was regaling us with her latest babysitting saga. “… and they walked in just as I was taking out whipped cream from their closet…” We were all rolling. I could just imagine Mindy whipping up whipped cream at a stranger’s house. Hey come to think of it I promised the Goldsteins I’d babysit tonight.

Miss Dunner stood at the door. Her presence brought the class volume five decibels lower.

“Hey” Frumy looked at me. “I love whipped cream.”

“Let’s do that tomorrow.” Mindy laughed. “I’ll become the whipped cream queen!”

“That’s a tongue twister.”

“Bring some from your neighbors” Leah Dina suggested.

“Shhh…” Dassy put her finger to her lips.

“Ugh I hate whipped cream” I groaned.

Gradually the quiet arrived. But not soon enough for Miss Dunner.

She did not smile as she walked into class. I shrugged. Teachers. Didn’t they understand how antsy we felt at the end of a school year?

“… red blood cells. And white blood cells increase as an infection kicks in. Can you imagine how complex the human being is? Think of all the antibodies…”

I tuned out Miss Dunner’s speech and pulled out my coloring book instead. It had been on sale at Walmart and I was totally into it.

“Hey Shani gimme a page?”

“Sure.” I passed Frumy the floral designed paper and continued with my pink crayon. This was so relaxing. The psychologists of the world definitely knew what they were talking about when they promoted mindfulness.

Leah Dina passed me a note. Check out Dunner’s top, I like it. But gosh, it so doesn’t match with her skirt.

I laughed to myself, filling in leaves with green crayon.

Dassy waved her hand, and asked something about the antigens. I continued coloring, then stopped to pass a note back.

Top’s cute. I think I saw it in Macy’s. I feel like she’s a little boring today.

The note bounced onto my desk. Just a little? Yeah, teachers are so funny. They think we enjoy learning. Sometimes I think they’re just a different breed…

I nodded at Leah Dina, then continued coloring.

“You’re dismissed.”

I’d been waiting for those magic words to happen, and jumped out of my seat. Six periods down, two more to go. Gosh, summer vacation couldn’t come quick enough.


I liked babysitting for the Goldsteins. I think they put sleeping powder in the kids’ bottles, because somehow they never wake up. Babysitting at the Goldsteins means sitting on the leather couch, snuggled with their velour throw. The phone, a friend, and life was good.

For the record, I usually check on the kids at some point.

Mindy was on the other line, as always, sharing her hysterical story of tripping on the way home from school. I shifted positions, getting really comfortable, listening.

Then listened more carefully. And heard something.

And freaked out.

Not about Mindy, who was droning on about the old lady that yelled at her. Rather, it was about a definite shuffle at the front door. It was nine, and the Goldsteins weren’t due home until eleven.

Someone was invading the house.

I shivered. I couldn’t even talk. Mindy’s drone continued as I dropped the phone, and froze. I listened in terror as the intruder walked through the house, and watched in horror as the kitchen light was flicked on.

“Who’s there?” I wanted to scream, but a strangled croak emerged from my mouth.

“Mali?” someone called.

Okay, so the intruder knew the Goldsteins. That calmed me somewhat. The voice didn’t sound intruder-like at all. It was a woman’s voice.

“Mali, you home?” The voice called up the stairs, and waited a few moments.

Then, the intruder with the voice I was beginning to recognize walked into the dining room.

“Shani? Oh, you’re babysitting here.” She smiled at me. Miss Dunner. Smiled at me.

I was still shaking.

Mindy’s voice was still emanating from the depths of the couch, where the phone was buried.

“I hope I didn’t scare you.” Miss Dunner smiled, her blue eyes twinkling. She had blue eyes. I’d never noticed.

“I’m so sorry for barging in like this. Mali usually tells me when she goes out, and I’m always in and out here,” she explained.

“It’s okay,” I managed to blurt, while trying to gently remove the velour throw in which I was huddled.

Miss Dunner kindly pretended not to notice.

“You had something to eat?” She walked to the kitchen, and brought me a plate of cookies.

“Thank you,” I murmured. This was quite awkward.

“Don’t worry, I’m leaving.” Miss Dunner said. “I’ll just run upstairs and give my little nieces and nephews a good night kiss.”

Mindy’s drone had stopped. She must’ve hung up the phone eventually. I sat there for a while, musing. Miss Dunner. She was actually quite human. She had relatives, a family, cute nieces and nephews. Miss Dunner was Mrs. Goldstein’s sister. I never knew that.

Somehow, I never colored through her biology class again. Even on the last day of school.

(Originally featured in Mishpacha Jr., Issue 617)

Oops! We could not locate your form.