I was sitting at my desk in the back of the class. I don't know what the teacher said to me, but I remember the hurt and embarrassment that flooded me. He liked to pick on me, my Grade 6 teacher, and I never knew what was going to be the thing he chose for that day that offended him about me.
That day, all I knew was that I could not stay there any longer. As the class waited for my response - some chuckling, some in horror - all just waiting. I stood. And fled the room into the hall. No one in elementary school ever left a room without permission. But I did that day. I ran.
I stood in the hall for what seemed like ages. Tears streamed down my face as I gulped in huge amounts of air. I shook and cried and waited for what I assumed would be a great reckoning for my blatant disregard of the school rules. None came while I waited in the hallway, gathering my nerves. The caretaker came to check on me as he head down the hall, but other than his gentle enquiry, no one approached me.
Sometime later, I steeled my courage up and entered the class again. My teacher lifted his head and told me that since I had chosen to leave the class once, I was no longer welcome to return that day. I walked out again -- this time in disbelief.