I fidget in my red plastic chair. The little metal bumps dig into my back and my bottom is kinda numb. I pull one corduroy leg under me and kick the other around, staring at my new red shoes with the velcro straps (I like the sound of the velcro).
It’s only my third day at preschool and I don’t have many friends yet. I’m kinda shy.
“Craft time!” Teacher tells us it’s Safety Day and we’ll be making pictures of seat belts.
She passes out the paper and glitter and glue and crayons and scissors into the center of the long tables we gather around.
I select a bottle of glue, blue glitter, some construction paper, and a pair of purple plastic scissors and organize it all in front of me until it all looks perfect.
I chose blue because our car is blue and so it has to be blue.
Then I draw out the seatbelt outlines with a grey crayon on the thick, white paper, making sure the square center where it buckles is colored in grey too, like metal. Then I take the glue and smear it with my fingers (ewewew) where the straps are.
Oh look, something white on my fingers. I instinctively lick it off. EWEWEW! That was glue. Ew. Ew. I smack my tongue, trying to get rid of the bitter, sticky taste. I wipe my fingers off on my pants. Gross.
I sprinkle the blue glitter everywhere the glue is. It’s finished! Almost perfect. There’s a lot of glitter and the lines are kinda wonky, but I like it. It looks just like our car.
Teacher tells me to write my name on it so it doesn’t get mixed up with the other kids’ when I go home. I’m not very good at writing, but I know how to spell my name. With a blue crayon, I spell out each letter:
A N D R E A
The R is the hardest, but it’s okay.
We take our seat belts to a big table by the door so they can dry and the teacher tells us to go get our coats for recess. Teacher says to make sure we zip up our coats because it is cold.
I squeeze between two boys to get my bright pink puffy coat off of its peg in the cubby closet. I work my arms into it and try to zip it up, but I’m not very good at zippers. I struggle to get the bottoms to line up and I just can’t make it work. But teacher said to zip up, so I keep trying.
All of a sudden, it’s dark in the cubby closet. I look up and find my way out into the classroom.
A little light comes in from the windows by the ceiling. Empty. No kids. No teacher. I’m all alone.
I go to the door and pull at the metal handle, but it’s locked.
The light switch is too high for me to reach.
My bottom lip quivering and my eyes watering, I sit on the rough, musty, brown carpet indian style and wait for someone to come get me. I grab at my braids I brush the ends against my wet cheeks and wait, all alone in the dark.
This was a post for the RememeRED prompt: Remember kindergarten. If, after thinking about it for a while, you can't recall anything, move on to first grade. Mine your memories and write about the earliest grade you can recall. What was special? What was ordinary? What did you feel? Hear? See? Smell?
Of course I HAD to write about this memory, even though it's from preschool, which I started pretty young. I must have been 3 when this happened. But it's one of my most vivid memories. And yes, they really did lock me in the classroom and never noticed. They found me after recess. Needless to say, my parents yanked me out of this school and a few others before I ended up at Montessori School.
Instead of writing this from what I think adults would like to read, I really tried to stay true to my memories and write how I would have explained it back then, (with slightly better grammar and vocab of course), keeping my voice young. Some stuff I fudged, but most of it is exactly how I remember.
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