I don’t know about you, but the world seems to be getting pretty (insert your favorite colorful word here) intense. While I like to stay informed, I also like to laugh to deal with stress. And, I need some chuckles these days.
Today, the wonderful Susan X Meagher is here to help us laugh with an embarrassing story. Also, Susan is giving away 1 ecopy of Friday Night Flights. Below the guest post, you’ll find more details about the giveaway.
Take it away, Susan.
The Wrath of Sister Stanislaus
When I was a girl, I was considered a model student, but not because I was particularly good at any of the things that make a child a good learner. I was just quiet, caused no trouble, and never asked questions. In fact, I was such a non-disruptive presence that I was awarded a fancy holy card for being the “best girl” in my whole class. To this day, that was the highest acclaim I was awarded in a school setting.
One day, my class was given the opportunity to use the restroom before recess. To my right, an obviously bolder girl put her hand under the wall of the stall and wiggled her fingers. I immediately did the same. It seemed wrong—very wrong— to stray outside the confined security of those gray partitions, but so, so thrilling.
We giggled like small kids will do, and continued to stick our hands under the partition.
After finishing, I opened the door, still giggling. In front of me stood Sister Stanislaus; an elderly, rake-thin, humorless woman who seemed to actively dislike children of all kinds. Grimly, she glared at me. Me! The best girl of 1-C! She didn’t know my name, so she just pointed a bony finger at me. “You,” she said, with a voice as cold as marble.
Struck mute, I stared up at her, futilely praying she’d mistaken me for another. She reached into the stall and grabbed me by my face, gripping my cheeks with her vise-like fingers. With amazing strength, she was able to lift me off my feet. Feet dangling, too frightened to even consider wrenching away, I hung there in suspended animation, certain my face was going to peel right off.
“So you think it’s funny to poke your head under the stall, do you? Were you trying to see what your neighbor was doing?”
My face was so contorted I couldn’t begin to speak, but I’m sure I made some sort of disavowal—a sincere one!
She dropped me to the floor and I managed to squeak out that we were just waving at each other.
“Who were you waving at?”
I hadn’t yet learned that “snitches get stitches,” but I couldn’t have dropped a dime on the other girl if I’d wanted to. We wore the same jumper, the same socks, and the same shoes. I couldn’t have identified her if I’d had a year to search.
Sister Stanislaus gripped my shoulder with her super-heroic strength and marched me back to my classroom, where 30 pairs of dumbstruck eyes stared as if they’d been sure I’d never be heard from again.
My cheeks were flaming red, partially from embarrassment and partially from nun-handling. Sister called my teacher out into the hall, undoubtedly to tell her of my crimes. I remember the room remaining deadly silent. Everyone knew I’d done something terrible, but no one had the temerity to ask for details.
A minute later, my teacher returned, and to my great relief she never said a word about it. I regaled small groups with all of the details during recess, but not one person admitted to being my co-conspirator—not that I blamed her.
I kept a wide berth from Sister Stanislaus for the entire eight years I was at the school. Having learned to avoid temptation, I also never went into a bathroom when there was another girl in there.
My cheeks still turn beet-red when I’m embarrassed, but I can’t prove that’s because Sister Stanislaus permanently injured my facial blood vessels. But I can’t prove she didn’t, either.
I continue to wait for a very belated, tearful confession from the girl whose benign wave nearly rendered me a faceless child.
by Susan X Meagher
Who are you? Is the real you a moving target or is there an essence that remains unchanged?
Avery Nichols is certain that she is a better, more evolved person than she was when she left home for college. But not everyone has watched her mature. When she returns to her childhood home, the one person she most wants to get close to is also the one whose impression of her remains ﬁxed in the past.
Casey Van Dyke wants to think the best of Avery, but old hurts have a way of calcifying when they’re not explored. They both want to be closer, they both long for connection, but their images of who they are now and who they were then keep getting in the way. To get past their stumbling blocks, they have to open their hearts, something neither of them has excelled at. They’re both motivated, but is that enough?
MEET THE AUTHOR
Susan X Meagher writes long, character-driven romances novels for and about women who love women.
CONNECT WITH SUSAN X MEAGHER
Thanks so much for stopping by today.