"It was all a mistake!" Harold ripped his chemistry goggles off and dashed after Mr. Presnell. "It was all a mistake, I promise!"
"Precisely." Mr. Presnell spun around and grabbed Harold's shoulders. He had to reach up to do it, but Harold still felt like when he was seven and had to go to his pa's room for some discipline. He grimaced.
"I'm glad you see that, Mr. Presnell," Harold offered a nervous grin.
"Oh, don't worry." Mr. Presnell's voice was smooth as Nutella. "I understand completely. Everybody makes mistakes."
"Yeah." Harold relaxed a little, wiggling his shoulders in the hopes that his chemistry teacher would take his hands off. His shirt was damp and it was a bit uncomfortable to have someone gripping it so tightly against him."Yeah!"
"Especially fools." The Nutella voice was switched for extra chunky peanut butter. Harold winced under the spoken jab.
"Oh, yes sir." he agreed, figuring that the best way to pacify Mr. Presnell now would be to go along with everything he said. "Fools, utter fools."
Mr. Presnell dropped his hands and sighed a great big sigh, the kind that pretty much comes from your stomach. Harold could see Mr. Presnell's mustache flutter. "Potassium with water, son? You KNOW that's not a good idea. Someone could have been hurt, and now all our equipment is rather--wet! I wish you'd get some sense, Harold."
"Yeah, me too." Harold wrinkled his nose. "But unfortunately I seem to be missing those genes. But I guess since you're a science teacher you've already figured that out."
Mr. Presnell scowled. "I know that you've got a fine mind, Harold. It's yourself that's holding you back."
"Huh?" Harold blinked. "Naw, just trust me. I forget things all the time, and stuff doesn't really sink in to my brain very well anyways."
"I don't believe that's true." Mr. Presnell's face was about the hardness of a diamond. Well, no, maybe more of a topaz's. "I think you are very capable. Especially for a sixteen year old. You ought to at least try. You knew that throwing that potassium into the water would cause it to explode--I saw you dash to the next table."
"Oh." Harold grew pink. "I guess I'm just naturally anxious around science, say, Mr. Presnell?"
"Quit monkeying around." the older man glared. "I mean it, son! You have potential. Are you going to ruin all that just for some showing off? What's the mask of incompetence for, anyways?"
Harold shifted his weight and rubbed at his neck. "Well, I don't know exactly." Some kids passed, dripping wet, and tossed him a few angry looks. "I'm not trying to have a mask--it's just kind of what I figure I am by now."
Mr. Presnell studied the boy in front of him. "God didn't make you to be lazy, Harold. Or waste your talents. Here." He moved to the map across the hall, motioning for his student to follow. "Take a look at this."
"It's a map." Harold brushed his hand through his hair, sending water droplets down his neck.
"You're sure right." Mr. Presnell pointed at the middle of Kansas. "And this is smack dab where we're standing. Now what do you think--" he traced his finger all the way over to Europe. "What do you think those refugee kids over in Germany and Poland and those places are doing?"
"They're just wanting a life, Harold. They're just waiting for their countries to settle down back into something normal so they can go to schools that teach them right. So they can have churches where they're free to worship." Mr. Presnell walked around Harold to the other side of the map. "And here. What about over here?"
"Japan?" Harold frowned.
"Sure. Japan. What do you think those kids are doing over here?"
Harold stepped closer. "I don't know."
"Getting their first taste of proper government--the way God intended. Getting good teaching. Learning."
Mr. Presnell turned back to Harold. "And how do you think those kids feel about that?"
"I guess they're thankful."
"You better believe it." Mr. Presnell started to roll up his sleeves. "And we didn't send our boys to fight just for our own kids in America to get lazy and silly and take things for granted. You better take a lesson from those kids in Europe and Japan, son, and for once in your life see things in the light they really are." Mr. Presnell strode down the hall to a closet leaving Harold at the map.
Harold bit his lip and shoved his hands in his pockets. He was quiet for a minute, studying the map. "Guess we could use some sense." he agreed. "Reckon we ought to show the boys we sent fighting we're thankful."
Mr. Presnell came back and handed Harold a mop. "Come on." he said. "You've got some cleaning up to do."
"You bet!" Harold grabbed the mop, his eyes lighting up. "Say, Mr. Presnell, can I borrow some of the books from the bookshelf in the lab room?"
"Help yourself." Mr. Presnell pushed the door open and ushered his charge into the room. "After you clean up after that explosion you made."
Hope you liked that story! I had so much fun writing it. Harold and Mr. Presnell were so much fun and it was really enjoyable seeing how the story unfolded as I wrote it. I'd like to hear what you think about it in the comments below! Would you like Mr. Presnell for a teacher? Do you like Nutella or peanut butter better? I'm allergic to peanuts, so I'd have to say I like Nutella better! lol.
Lovely day to you all!