I'm in English class and the teacher asks me to read.
Immediately a spotlight shines directly into my eyes. I'm trapped. I can't move. I can't hide. Everyone is starring at me with laser eyes that burn me. Sweat is pouring from my forehead, from my hands onto the book. A snowstorm of white dots blinds me. I peer through the storm and can barely see black marks on the white page. My stomach is tight and I feel like I'm going to throw up.
Brody, the fat kid who always sits at the back of the room, says, "Yeah, get Leanne to read. Read, Leanne, read."
His voice is distant and muffled, but I do hear him.
I also hear a loud noise--like a huge ocean wave hitting the rocks. Laughter. They're laughing at me.
I try not to hear them. I try to focus. I push my glasses up on my nose, breathe out slowly.
The first word is "I".
Followed by "saw" or is it "was". The letters dance--first 's' leads then 'w'
"Leanne, we're waiting," the teacher says.
I can't sound it out if I can't catch the words. I'll have to guess.
Sometimes I guess right, sometimes wrong. That's the only thing that differs--the rest remains the same.