It was a Monday. A steady rain fell over the world, encompassing everything in a barrage of hydration. It was a Monday. Besides this dampening, nothing in the morning’s events were any different than those of the past. Class began as it always had. Students entered the room and ventured to our respective places. As with all classes, a short, unexplained gap existed between the beginning of the day, and the moment when the day actually began. During this time, students mill about making conversation, plotting the weekend, and generally doing nothing useful. No doubt this is the mandatory time teachers give themselves to harness any patience they can.
Daniel had never been one to converse during these times. What was there to say that was worth mentioning? In a world full of meaningless rhetoric, he was a misty wave of unnoticeable silence. Devoid of any sort of extroversive expertise, he was even less noticed than the fly that landed on the tissue box to his immediate right. In this secluded state, Daniel would often take precious moments to ponder. ‘If the world were to end, would any of these conversations even matter?’ Figuring not, he continued to sit, yearning for the perpetuality of the nonsense to end.
Time seemed to drag continually onward, forcing Daniel to face the reality that indeed class might actually never begin. In such a situation, what would he do? What would anyone do? Panic. Anguish. Rage. In mere moments Daniel felt the full range of grief’s arsenal. Time seemed to drag on in an uninterrupted state, only kept in check by a clock gingerly resting above the room’s entrance.
Had he been more versed in these situations, Daniel may have simply gone in the hallway, searching for his missing instructor or better yet engaged his classmates in some sort of meaningful interaction. Caught in the middle of a conversational battlefield however forced his mind to his immediate surroundings and lack of social ability.
Suddenly, his immediate self became realized. Taking a first notice of his uninterrupted buzzing counterpart, the tissue box came into full view. Having only just previously learned the illustration about throwing rocks in glass houses, Daniel realized that his one escape from his world of introversive isolation was only to be found in this lightweight projective he now held in his right hand. What if one act of courage could turn the world to notice his existence? One act. One tissue box?
Scanning the room, a target was identified. JeeAe Choi, a classmate from multiple other lectures. Known for her spunk, she was the perfect recipient of a grab at attention. One shot is all it would take. One act. Wisdom thrust from his mind, he prepared himself. It was a Monday. Reaching back, he mustered the little courage my 140 lb. body could hold. If only the entire class could have felt the potential energy building in his frail, teenage body. Undoubtedly, he had reached 9,000.
Leaving Daniel’s hand, Physics was the only force with control over the missile. Physics and the very will of God. To be journalistically honest, to this day no one can remember what happened to the projectile itself. There are tales that it did indeed reach its target, striking the fiery maiden squarely upon the forehead, sending legendary stories of Daniel’s courage rippling through the halls of this particular academic establishment. Other stories tell a different tune, preaching of failure and disgust at lack of accuracy. And even still more fables speak about a scrawny, unknown boy who never actually had the willpower to make the throw. No matter the facts of this moment, what came next was forever emblemed in infamy.
Accompanied by the voice of angels, Daniel’s teacher entered the room in the very moment of his daring endeavor and with one shout, the room, previously so full of teenage energy, now fell silent under the weight of her words. Justice. Instantly feeling the power of his guilt, the now shamed hero slowly marched towards judgement. Having never even been given a verbal warning for any act of negligence, this attention was almost more than his perfectly clear conscience could stand.
Sitting in firm absolution, the instructor gave not even the slightest notion of weakness. Almost whispering her verdict, her words became eternally seared into the mind of this newborn rebel. “Mr. Jackson. You have committed an act of extreme, life-threatening aggression and have violated Protocal 6, Subsection 17 of the International Code of Middle School Conduct. In direct consequence, you have been sentenced to one hour of isolated inhabitance. Immediately following today’s educational activity, you will report to your punishment. May God have mercy on you.”
I have never been the same since that day. Even as I record this memory, I still often stand in awe that I came through this event alive. It was a day to be remembered forever.
It was a Monday.