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Friday, February 13, 2009

Response to Friday the 13th


Did you ever notice how the closer it gets to the end of the school day the slower the clock is? Well I was definitely noticing it today. I was sitting in math class just waiting for the last five minutes to fly by even though I knew deep down that they wouldn’t.
“So everyone,” Mrs. Andrews sighed, “have you all been careful today?” She said this with a sly grin on her face. I rolled my eyes. I knew she was going to ask that stupid question, she just couldn’t resist.
“I saw someone walk under a ladder today!” Anna shouted from across the room. A few people laughed, while the rest of us just looked away in annoyance.
“Well not everyone believes in Friday the Thirteenth…” Mrs. Andrews began.
“What’s the point? This holiday is ridiculous.” I muttered under my breath, secretly hoping no one would hear me. Another thing that I knew wouldn’t happen…
“Do you know what happens to non-believers Jean?” Anna whispered.
“I hear they disappear.” Charlie laughed… I hope he chokes on that laugh.
“Now children, that’s enough.” Mrs. Andrews finally said. She looked across the room at me, but I refused to meet her gaze. She was one of those superstitious nuts and I was afraid to even look at her. Every year this happens to me. Someone brings up this subject, I tell them my opinion, and they take it the wrong way.
“Jean,” Mrs. Andrews said, “You don’t think you have anything to worry about?”
“I’ve never had to worry before. Why should I choose to believe now?” I replied. I could hear Anna pitching a fit behind me.
“Why does she have to spoil everything..?” She whispered. I turned around and said,
“Be quiet we all know why you PRETEND to believe. It’s just so you can make teachers, like Mrs. Andrews, give you an A.”
Before we knew it the bell rang and the weekend was finally here. I was the first one out the door but I realized I had left my math book on my desk and was forced to slump back to class.
Mrs. Andrews was erasing the black board when I opened the door.
“I forgot my math book… I’ll just get it and be on my way.” I mumbled. I grabbed my book but before my finger tips even touched the knob of the class room door she called my name.
“Jean, could you come here for a second.” Mrs. Andrews asked. I groaned. The weekend was in the palm of my hands and she wanted me to ‘come here for a second’.
“Yes?” I asked, not even bothering to hide my disappointment. She looked at me with those eyes again and said,
“You should be careful for the rest of the day. You never know what could happen.”
“For heavens sakes Mrs. Andrews it’s just Friday the Thirteenth! Why does everyone insist on making such a big deal about it?” I shouted, then without even saying good bye I stomped out of the class room.
The walk home was just as bad. Half my class lived by me, including Anna, so the entire time I could hear them whispering about me. Ridiculous! All of them were acting like children. I ignored them until I finally reached my house.
“Hey Jean how was school?” Mom asked as I slammed the door shut.
“Lousy.” I answered. Suddenly my little brother Tommy ran into the room wearing a plastic medallion around his neck. As usual he was covered in glitter and glue.
“What on earth are you wearing around your scrawny neck today?” I asked, grabbing the medallion and pulling him closer so I could have a better look.
“My teacher handed them out to the class for good luck today.” He squeaked.
“Mom what is the elementary school teaching these kids?” I flicked the medallion so it flung around his neck once or twice as I leaned against the kitchen counter.
“Jean come on it’s just for fun.” Mom laughed. Tommy stuck his tongue at me and hissed,
“I hope a safe falls on your head or something…”
“You don’t even know what you’re talking about that only happens in those silly cartoons that you insist on watching. Besides Friday the Thirteenth is about killers and all of that crazy garbage. It has nothing to do with good luck or bad luck."

"You're wrong Jean! My teacher said that if a person doesn't watch out ANYTHING could happen. Friday the Thirteenth can be about BOTH bad luck and killers." Tommy argued.
"Some day you're going to have to grow up." I said as I made my way to my bedroom.
I sat on my bed and looked at the floor. That’s when I saw Tommy’s baseball next to my dresser.
“I wasn’t in your room!” Tommy yelled.
I picked up the baseball, opened my door, and threw the ball as hard as I could. That’s when I heard the shattering sound of glass. Perfect, I thought. I walked out into the hallway and saw what was left of the mirror that had been hanging on the wall.
"What's going on?" Mom yelled, in a matter of seconds she was standing next to me. I could hear Tommy giggling behind me.
"What's so funny?" I growled at him.
"Oh your going to get it now!" Tommy laughed pointing at the glass on the floor.
"It was an accident. Besides it's only bad luck if you're looking at the mirror and it breaks. I wasn't looking..." I said. That was a lie. I was looking at the mirror when I threw the baseball. So what? I don't believe in any of that anyways...
"Enough! I want this cleaned up right now!" Mom yelled. Wow, talk about overreacting. She didn't even like that mirror.
I spent the rest of the day in my room. Tommy kept knocking on my door asking if I was dead yet. Ever since I broke the mirror everything was going wrong. Mom grounded me for a week... For no apparent reason. Whenever I needed something I couldn't find it, and everything that was breakable I managed to break. I'm being clumsy, I told myself, it's nothing...
"Jean!" Tommy burst into my room looking excited and scared at the same time.
"What do YOU want?" I groaned.
"There's... You're never going to believe this but..." Tommy stumbled over his words so much you would think he didn't even know how to talk.
"Spit it out what is it?" I yelled.
"There's a DEAD BLACK CAT right outside your window!" Tommy pointed to my window and put his hand over his mouth. I could feel my face losing color. I ran to my window, opened it... And right there on the lawn was a black cat... It wasn't moving... At first. I swear it was dead I SWEAR IT, but it just got right back up! It stared at me for a moment and I thought I saw Mrs. Andrews eyes staring at me.
"OH MY GOSH!!!!!!!!" I screamed and shut the window as hard as I could.
"What did it do?" Tommy ran to the window and tried to open it.
"Get out of my room! This is all your fault!" I shoved him away from me.
"It's not my fault! Your the one that broke the mirror, and this is happening to you because you don't believe in any of this stuff." Tommy stuck his nose so far up he almost looked like Anna.
"I'm pretty sure you were looking at that mirror when I broke it too!" I screamed. Tommy grabbed his plastic medallion and said,
"I don't have to worry about anything." I grabbed his medallion and threw it across the floor.
"Go walk under a ladder or something." I glared at him while he picked up his medallion and left.
That night I couldn't sleep. Every dark corner in my room scared me, and every sound echoed in my head. Why was I letting all of this get to me? Suddenly I saw something move in the darkness. A shadow moving silently out of my closet, moving like a snake ready to attack. I tried closing my eyes, but it wouldn't go away.
"Who.. Whose there?" I whined.
"We've come for you Jean...." I'd never heard such a raspy voice before. Chills ran down my spine and my teeth began to chatter.
"I'm sorry! I didn't mean to break the mirror! I'm sorry!" I cried. Tears rolled down my cheeks and blurred my vision so much that I couldn't even see the shadow anymore. This couldn't be happening! This had never happened before...
"Please..." I whispered, "Please leave me alone." When there was no reply I wiped my tears and looked around. The shadow was gone. Just like that? Gone? If my heart had legs it would be miles away by now, every heart beat felt like a foot on the ground.
I walked slowly into Mrs. Andrews class on Monday. I hadn't slept the entire weekend. Friday night scared me half to death, but I didn't dare tell anyone about it.
"How was YOUR weekend Jean." Charlie asked. The room went quiet.
"It was fine... I told you guys Friday the Thirteenth was stupid." My voice shaked no matter how hard I tried to stop it. When the bell rang I walked up to Mrs. Andrews desk. She had been looking at me occasionally all day, and had asked me to stay after. Friday had already passed and she was still on my case.
"How was the rest of your Friday?" She asked. I couldn't look at her. Her eyes reminded me of that cat.
"I told you it was fine." I murmured.
"Jean you should just admit that you believe in all that superstitious stuff that everyone talks about." Mrs. Andrews sighed. I walked to the door slowly, and before I left I turned back and said,
"I don't know what you're talking about."
I will never admit it, and I will never tell anyone about what happened that night... That frightening Friday the Thirteenth. As I walked home I began think of the seven years bad luck that I would have for breaking that mirror.