The Personal Narrative

What Hurt Me the Most

How much can a grown woman do to a child before a child retaliates? How much mental torment can a 13 year old boy receive before he devises a plan to enact revenge? Authority may come with power, but vengeance has a power of its own. Mrs. Precise was her name. I can still see her little head, evil grin, and ugly hell made glasses in my sleep. The 2004-2005 school year happened to be Mrs. Precise’s first year employed as the 8th grade teacher of Our Lady of Hope Catholic Elementary & Middle school. It also happened to be the year my class was in the 8th grade. Ever since the day we met her, she made it clear that class clowns were her pet peeve. She’d rather pick on a class clown than have one pick on her. Unfortunately for my two friends Chris, Khanh, and I, class clown was in our DNA. Since the elementary years, the class had praised us for our antics, and we wouldn’t allow a new teacher to destroy our image.

Because I was just 13, there were many things I knew I had to tolerate in middle school, but embarrassment wasn’t one of them.  My reputation was something I guarded with every fiber of my being, and my favorite weapon was humor. When I wasn’t using humor to slay any threats to my popularity, I was using it because I just felt like using it. My whole life humor has been like a birthmark. It follows me around in my sleep, when I shower, and literally everywhere I go. I didn’t make people laugh to be popular or accepted. I made them laugh because it just felt right. I thought it was my job. I wish to become a mainstream comedian of course because I still feel that way. However, in the 8th grade, the classroom was my comedy club, and Mrs. Precise was nothing but a heckler. Luckily, I had Chris and Khanh to do it with me.

Her “fight fire with fire” approach was a challenge the three of us accepted and welcomed. For every joke we had, she had two. She called my friend Chris a monkey. She called him retarded; and when I refused to clean my desk, she took it away and gave me a huge table. However, our rivalry came to head when the three of us decided to replace our creative, humorous, antics with anger, resentment and malice. The battle with Mrs. Precise was a devastating loss for the three of us when we were expelled from the school after keying Mrs. Precise’s car.

The huge red vehicle that we loved to call a fire truck didn’t have a hose big enough to put out the flame in our eyes as we laughed and giggled running Chris’s house key back and forth across the side of it.

It wasn’t until the repercussions started flying that I realized this was a joke I should not have assisted. No one was laughing but me, Chris, and Khanh. Our classroom of audience members weren’t around to laugh with us; and after the Principal found out who keyed Mrs. Precise’s car, we lost our beloved audience altogether.

When your 13 years old, dealing with people usually isn’t an expertise. We were too young to even care about finding a mature and reasonable solution to the problem we had with Mrs. Precise. We wanted her to feel as much pain as we felt every time she embarrassed us in front of the class.

Being kicked out of school and forced not to graduate with my classmates was the most tragic time in my life because it was the first tragic time in my life. Until this disappointment, I honestly thought everything was really supposed to pan out my way. I didn’t reach the point mentally where I understood that devastating things could actually happen to me too. I woke up on the night that we found out I couldn’t return to school. Before that night, my life was a dream full of jokes and happy endings. It taught me that I must take responsibility for the bad choices I make.

The embarrassment I suffered in class was one thing, but the embarrassment I suffered when my entire family and church found out about what I did at school was eighty times worse. While I still despise Mrs. Precise, I’m thankful for that experience because I learned a plethora of lessons about life; another one of which is that your decisions don’t only affect you. I cried a lot that night, but watching my mother cry even harder is an image that a child can’t soon forget. What eventually hurt me the most was the fact that I hurt the person who I love the most.

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