A friend and I were sitting at the front of the school bus. We were right behind the first row, where two parent chaperones sat. Our first grade class was getting ready for a field trip. We were all in high spirits, chattering away, laughing and giggling at each other’s little kid jokes.
One of the chaperones, Mrs. K – the mother of my first elementary school crush – stood at the front of the bus, looking back at all of us, doing a head count. She then attempted to shush us in order to give us instructions for what to do when we arrived at our destination. Her attempts went unnoticed.
After a minute or two, her head turned towards me and my giggling counterpart. Her eyes were as dark as coal, focused only on me. Her lips were a thin, tight line. I held her gaze for a good few seconds. She was clearly unhappy…but with me? Just me? Out of all the happy, shouting kids, all of whom were ignoring her attempts to quiet us down, why did she single me out with her cold glare?