Chapter Description: 22 new pictures added 7/6/23 ... Images for this story can be found at the following web...... https://sites.google.com/view/comedy-ars-characters
22 new pictures added 7/6/23 ... Images for this story can be found at the following web......https://sites.google.com/view/comedy-ars-characters
When I woke up, the first thing I did was check myself in the mirror. I was still a boy. I still had a penis. I was still twelve years old, and I still had a big head of hair. But I also had a notion to just shit-can the whole idea of school and go back to adulthood.
What’s so special about playing games in the seventh grade? I would be nothing more than an extra-terrestrial like Clark Kent with a secret identity, spying on the Earth people to learn their culture. And what if I were caught? There would be horrible consequences for both me and Sammantha.
Mom got up early and made a big breakfast for me, but she could tell how nervous I was because I wasn’t saying much.
“Self confidence, sweety,” she emphasized. “If you hold your head high, by the time you get home you won’t be able to contain your excitement and you’ll rush in to tell me all about it.”
“I hope you’re right, Mom,” I replied … before hearing my cell phone ring. “Who would be calling this early? … Hello?”
“Face your fears, Derrek.”
“I remember an eleven-year-old girl named Anna Meeks telling me those words … to get my courage up to face Gottfried Goldfarb. Now it’s your turn to do the same.”
“But I don’t have to face Gottfried Goldfarb.”
“Smartass … Go catch your bus.”
“Thanks for the pep talk, Daniel.”
I wasn’t sure why they started school in the middle of August. All too soon, there would be six feet of snow in Buffalo, but today was hot. It was already 82 degrees in the morning so I chose a pair of cargo shorts and a neutral beige polo shirt. I grabbed my mostly-empty back pack and headed out. Sammantha accompanied me to the front gate of our apartment complex where we saw eight other kids waiting for the bus. It didn’t take long for it to arrive.
“Mom, please don’t …”
“Kiss you goodbye? Not a chance … Go get ‘em, tiger.”
I was last to board the yellow school bus, allowing the younger kids to go first. All the grades took the same bus which made stops at the three schools. It wasn’t a large school district.
I know of air marshals on planes. Here, there was an adult ‘bus marshal’ in the front row, at least for the first day. To my relief, there was not a gang of delinquents waiting to ambush the ‘new kid’ … but there were few open seats. My apartment must have been the last stop.
I walked toward the back and noticed the ‘edge’ of a seat was available next to a large African American boy. I guess I would have to face my fears early. “Can I sit here?” I asked him, dryly.
“Only if you talk to me,” he answered.
And that was good enough. I tossed my backpack onto the floor and sat down on whatever small portion of the seat that my butt could occupy.
“Derrek Adams,” I stated. “What do you want to talk about?”
“Football,” he responded. “I’m Otto Brown. My friends call me ‘Big-O’. My enemies call me ‘Big-O’.”
I nodded. “I’ll try to be one of the friends. So I take it, you play a lot of football. How many years?”
“My whole life. I was a fifty pound baby.”
“I think you’re yankin’ my chain, Big-O.”
“Not when I was born. That was when I turned one. I’m 180 now … 120 more and the college recruiters will be calling. You play football, Adams?”
“I want to try out for the team.”
“Really? What position?”
“Uh huh … I’ll see you at lunch.”
Strange, for a guy who insisted on talking, that was the last thing he said to me on the bus.
Our driver stopped in the large circle in front of Jerry Sandusky Middle School to drop us off. I picked up my backpack and told Otto, “See ya around.”
As I approached the school entrance, I could already feel my heart pounding a little harder than usual. It reminded me of when I was an adult woman entering the girl’s locker room and expected everyone to scream when they saw me. There was a lot of noise but no one paid me the slightest attention.
I located my homeroom, and there was already a line forming to pick up our chromebook laptops from my female homeroom teacher, Prosperita Premo. When I got mine, it was starting to dawn on me that I was really a seventh grader … I wasn’t sure when my nerves would settle.
Soon, Miss Premo took out her class roster to set the seating chart. “Derrek Adams,” she announced.
That sure got my attention. I kind of wished that I wasn’t alphabetically the first kid in every class, but I didn’t have much choice about that. She directed me to seat number one in the first column (or row) of desks adjacent to the side wall. I would be the nearest student to the door.
Then Miss Premo told us, “Class, I’d like you to meet an exchange student from Japan who will be attending our school this year and staying with a host family. He name is Hoshiko Aoki so let’s make sure she feels welcomed.
The last name ‘Aoki’ followed Adams in order, and she took her seat directly behind me. I didn’t want to go into too much detail, but I had visited Japan as an adult a few years earlier and remembered a few words.
I turned around in my seat. “Konnichiwa” (hello), I greeted her.
Her face positively lit up. “Konnichiwa,” she returned with a slight bow of her head, along with a big smile.
I followed that up with another phrase I knew, “Ohio gozimasu” (Good morning, with respect) … and she repeated that too.
“Hoshiko,” I said, “Ohio is also an English word for a place.”
“Ohio is a city?” she asked.
“No, it’s actually a state … so I’m going to tell you your first American joke.”
“Joke?” she looked puzzled.
“You know, funny … ha ha ha.”
“Oh yes, humor. Please tell me.”
“Okay, so when I say to you ‘Ohio gozimasu’, you say back ‘New York gozimasu.’
She nodded. “Ahhhh, that is very clever … You are named … ”
“My name is Derrek Adams.”
“Yes, you are very clever Darakatoms.”
I pressed further, “Is there a meaning for your name, Hoshiko?”
“Yes, yes … Hoshiko means ‘star girl’ … and Aoki means a blue tree. What about you? Is there a meaning for Darakatoms?”
I answered, “It means ruler of the people … but you are the first person to ask me that.”
As we chatted, Miss Premo continued to fill out the seating chart, with the next boy, whom I hoped she had mispronounced his name. She sounded vulgar.
I thought I heard her say, “Bat Shit Carry Balls With A Yam.”
The boy corrected her, “Batnasiddhikara Baalasubramanyam” with the long name from India … “But please, everyone calls me Batty.”
Behind him, “Grey Wolf Comes-At-Night”. So in consecutive order, we had an Indian from India and an Indian who was Native American.
Finishing the row by the wall was Cocoa Conley, an African American boy. (What I didn’t know at the time was that all three of them would become football teammates.)
The first student called for row two would be sitting directly next to me. Her name was Madeline Dazilme and I had to look twice and then three times to register the incredible physical ‘girl-next-door’-ish looks of a child currently my own age. She wore no makeup, had long dark hair, a long-sleeve sweat shirt and jeans.
I don’t know why I was overcome with an instant crush. She was so normal, so sweet. If I had dog muscles in the front, my penis would be wagging back and forth rapidly. Sammantha and I agreed in advance that I would have no girlfriends, so I had to control myself.
The girl took her seat and then looked to her right. She said, “Hi, Derrek.”
I was really scared now. Oh my god. She actually talked to me. How did she know my name? Well, I guess Miss Premo was announcing the names. Okay, I had to be really cool in my response. Don’t let her smell my fear.
After a brief pause, I came up with a good comeback line. I said, “Hi, Madeline.”
She smiled back. “So are you excited about starting middle school?”
There, she did it again. She talked to me as if we were both just normal people. And her voice was so pleasant. If I had been taped up to a polygraph at that moment, my heart rate and blood pressure would be off the charts.
Since she asked me about middle school, I knew that I must still look like a child. I had to answer her and decided to be honest. “I am, Madeline, but to be honest, I’m really kind of nervous about it.”
There was a touch of a giggle and she replied, “Join the club. I want to try out for cheerleaders and I’m worried about making the squad.”
I wanted to ‘gush’ and tell her that she already looked like a homecoming queen but I remembered Sammantha’s advice to go about the day with a relaxed smile. “Same here … I mean, I’m not trying out for cheerleaders, but I’m trying out for football.”
She concluded, “Nice, we might see each other on the field.”
Miss Premo finished assigning the four students who would sit behind Madeline in alphabetical order … Doll Furbush, Cathy Gallops, Showkat Gokool, and Goro Grande. Goro was nearly as big as Big-O, so I figured he was a football player too.
The center row, third from the wall, consisted of Duchess Hartless, John Jump Jr., Buster LaFrance, Sania Nutts, and Oscar Ogles. The first, of course, was not one of my favorite people.
In the fourth row from the wall, Miss Premo assigned Randy Pantz, Roemary Reckers, BillieJo Rippatoe, Suzie Shrank, and Manhattan Sneeze (a girl).
And finally, in the row by the windows, she assigned Sally Sukkemsilli, Edison Toledo, Starline Valentine, Vicki VonVolkenburg, and Tou Young (a boy).
Starline was a person I hated with great passion, but I would try to be civil here in school. And I better be, because she and Duchess were coming over to ‘greet’ me.
“Hey Derrek, remember us?” asked Starline. “You stopped by our sixth grade class once and we pierced your ears.”
“Of course I remember.”
“Did you change your name? You were ‘Sam’ last time we saw you.”
“Yeah, I was just using my middle name, Samuel.”
“So where is it?”
“The ear stud.”
“Oh, my mom made me take it off. I have the meanest mother in the world.” (I actually removed it myself.)
“Well, anyway,” Duchess broke in, “We’ve placed you at the top of our list in the rankings for ‘cutest boy in the seventh grade’.”
I scoffed, “You girls need glasses. I’m resigning from the list.”
Starline insisted, “Well, you have no choice. It’s a private list.”
The first period bell rang and I gathered up my backpack … and also felt a tap on my shoulder.
“Darakatoms, do you have pre-algebra now?” asked Hoshiko.
“I would be honored if you could show me the location of the classroom.”
“Certainly. I’m new here too, but we can discover it together.”