I usually like to keep my head attached to my body, so I went ahead and stood up like he wanted me to.
“Let’s try that again,” he said. “This is my seat. Understand?”
I understood, all right. I’d been in sixth grade for about four and a half minutes, and I already had a fluorescent orange target on my back. So much for blending in.
And don’t get me wrong. I’m not a total wimp.
Give me a few more chapters, and I’ll show you what I’m capable of. In the meantime, though, I decided to move to some other part of the room.
Like maybe somewhere a little less hazardous to my health.
But then, when I went to sit down again, Miller called over. “Uh-uh,” he said. “That one’s mine too.”
Can you see where this is going?
By the time our homeroom teacher, Mr. Rourke, rolled in, I was just standing there wondering what it might be like to spend the next nine months without sitting down.
Rourke looked over the top of his glasses at me. “Excuse me, Mr.Khatch . . . Khatch-a . . . Khatch-a-dor—”
“Khatchadorian,” I told him.
“Gesundheit!” someone shouted, and the entire class started laughing.
“Quiet!” Mr. Rourke snapped as he checked his attendance book for my name.
“And how are you today, Rafe?” he said, smiling like there were cookies on the way.
“Fine, thanks,” I answered.
“Do you find our seating uncomfortable?” he asked me.
“Not exactly,” I said, because I couldn’t really go into details.
“Then SIT. DOWN. NOW!”