“Who can tell me the capital of Montana?” the teacher asked, scanning the room for students to answer. The typical four hands shot up quickly from Heather, Stephanie, JoAnna, and Steven, but Miss Weathers ignored them, searching for someone new this time, someone she could help break out of their shell.
“Sally. How about you? Do you know the capital of Montana?”
Sally looked up from doodling on a piece of paper, caught off guard and made eye contact with Miss Weathers. Sally was like a deer caught in the headlights and Miss Weathers could sense her fear.
Miss Weathers smiled warmly at Sally, trying to ease Sally’s fear and repeated the question. “What’s the capital of Montana?”
Sally sat at her desk quietly, trying to remember the correct answer. She knew the capitals of every state. She had known them since first grade. Her mother made sure of that.
“Han…Han-na…no, Helena!” she answered.
“Good job!” said Miss Weathers, smiling proudly at Sally.
Heather gave Sally a nasty look for knowing the correct answer. How dare she steal my thunder, that little bitch!
“Come on up here and get a piece of candy out of the Answer-Bag,” said Miss Weathers. Sally got up from her desk and slowly made her way towards Miss Weathers.
Heather stuck her foot out and tripped Sally when she walked by her desk. Sally fell down hard and the classroom erupted in laughter.
Miss Weathers glared at Heather, “Out in the hallway now and don’t move until I come and get you!”
Tiffany got up from her desk and helped Sally to her feet. “Are you ok?”
“Yeah, I’m fine.”
Sally retrieved a piece of candy from the Answer-Bag, placed it in her pocket and headed back to her desk.
Stephanie leaned forward and whispered in Sally’s ear, “You got Heather in trouble! We’re gonna make you pay for that, you little twerp!”
Sally sat at her desk, humiliated and hurt. She was constantly being criticized by her mother, her grades were never good enough, her room was never clean enough, and now, she had made enemies at school and it was only the third week into her fourth-grade year.
She sat there staring at her doodle, a monster with beady eyes staring back at her, telling her how bad she was, how she would never amount to anything. Sally became transfixed on the picture, all the hurt, pain and anger swelling up inside her. Her body started to vibrate with an uncontrollable amount of energy. It kept building up and building up and then…she released it!
Thunder without sound echoed from her body as she unleashed all her energy onto the picture. Everything on her desktop went flying off, scattered in all directions and landed on the floor.
Miss Weathers looked up at Sally. “Sally, is everything alright?”
Sally sat there in shock, not sure what had happened. She turned her palms up toward her face and stared at them. She could still feel the energy vibrating within them.