Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Truth ... by Coco

“These are limited addition race cars” Jack bragged presenting each model with utter most care.

“Where did you get them from?” Max asked eager to own one himself. Max had a habit of taking what he wanted. Many times he did such a thing he would promise to himself he would return it as soon as he had finished playing with it or reading it, but every time he just couldn’t bring himself to give it back.

 “My dad got them for me when he went to the Indi 500” Jack answered. Max nodded.

 “Ok, it’s almost lunch time” Mrs Rumblelow announced and the cars were passed up to Jack. The bell rang and everyone shuffled out of the class. Mrs Rumblelow left the room as well. She walked out of the corridor, up a flight of concrete stairs and into the staff room to fetch herself a cup of tea.

Meanwhile Max creaked open the classroom door. He ran over to the show & tell box and began searching through it to find the box of cars. With no luck he then went over to Jack’s tub and started sorting through books and pencils. As he did so Mrs Rumblelow walked back outside and down the stairs. She sorted out a small trip by a young child and sent her up to sick bay with a friend by her side. Mrs Rumblelow opened the corridor door to bump into Penelope.

“Oh why such a rush Penelope?” she asked.

Penelope looked up and acted as if she hadn’t seen the old teacher before.

“Oh, I need to get this up to the assembly for presentation week” Penelope said after she had shaken her head and gotten out of her daze.

“Hmm, it looks fascinating” Mrs Rumblelow said examining the diorama. There was a rocky planet in the centre of the box with Lego astronauts stuck onto the fiery red ball. There was a Lego Star Wars space ship as well placed near the rocket. Before Mrs Rumblelow could point out the creative background Penelope was gone.

Mrs Rumblelow continued to R10. She opened her door and froze to find Max with a bag at his feet and a box in his hands. A box that looked exactly like the one Jack was holding yesterday. Max obviously hadn’t heard Mrs Rumblelow and he shoved the box in his bag. Then he lifted Jack’s bag into Jack’s locker and zoomed off. Mrs Rumblelow stood for a while going over what she had just seen.

It was Thursday and Max walked into his class to hear a gentle sobbing. Jack was crouched next to Penelope and was comforting her with words like “it will be alright” and “at least the school got to see it”. Max quietly walked to his locker and begun pulling out his books and lunch box.

“Max?” Jack said and stood up. “Why did you do that?” Colour drained from Max’s face and he turned slowly.

“What?” he said even though he knew what it was.

“Block the toilets” Jack replied.

“What?” Max said more confused than ever.

“Oh don’t play fool with me, I saw you do it yesterday, block the toilets!” Jack said angrily.

Max, relieved, started laughing and nodded.

“Oh sorry Jacko” he said.

“Monkey Max” Jack said quietly laughing. He turned back to Penelope.

Mrs Rumblelow came in.

“Oh what’s wrong dear?” she asked coming to Penelope.

“Somebody took every Lego piece in my Diorama, they absolutely ruined it Penelope burst into another fit of tears.

Why would someone do such a thing? Mrs Rumblelow exclaimed. Max felt a pain of guilt. “Do you know anything about it, Max?” Mrs Rumblelow then said and turned to Max. Max felt uncomfortable like his teacher knew something.

“No-Not at all Mrs R” Max stuttered and rushed outside.

It had been a week since Jack and Penelope had gotten along. Jack believed his cars were stolen by Penelope and Penelope believed Jack had ruined her Diorama.

“Now class, does anybody know about these two problems, anybody hear anything about it?” Mrs Rumblelow said in front of class on a Wednesday. “Did anybody do it is what I should be asking” Mrs Rumblelow then said and stared at Max for a minute. “Nothing?” Mrs Rumblelow said after the class remained silent. “Then I guess we will go on with our science projects, remember to have your fifteen facts down by tomorrow since they’re due on Friday” Mrs Rumblelow instructed. The class got into their science groups and immediately started chatting away, getting out sheets of paper and colouring pens. Max brought out his group's project and laid it on the floor. Jack soon came over followed by Penelope.

Once the three were seated Jack said “Hey Max would you like to come to my party?”

Max looked up quickly. He had just been thinking how he could return the cars and stick the diorama back together without being noticed.

“Huh, what?” he mumbled.

“Well I don’t want thieves at my party so I guess you can fill the empty spot” Jack said.

Penelope flinched. When Jack had said thief he had tilted his head and addressed Penelope. Max felt bad, he felt terrible. Then he realized that Jack needed a new best friend. And since everyone in the class had their own little groups, he - Monkey Max, trouble maker, secret thief - was next on Jack’s list.

“Why not?” Max said smoothly. Jack reached into his pocket and pulled out a blue card. “Here ya are” he said and grinned.
Max peered into the classroom. He had been tossing and turning all night. On Wednesday afternoon Max went to Jack’s house where they played forts. At Jack’s house there was a lot of photos and every time Max saw a photo of Penelope and Jack, Max would feel worse. So he called his mum saying he hurt his foot because he felt too sick to stay for dinner.

Max shifted his bag from one shoulder to another. Mrs Rumblelow, Jack and Penelope were inside. Mrs Rumblelow caught Max’s eye and Max looked around nervously. Mrs Rumblelow beckoned Max inside and Max shuffled into the classroom.

“Hello Max” Mrs Rumblelow said. Max forced a smile.

“Um hi” Max said.

“We were just trying to sort out the problem” Mrs Rumblelow said and placed her soft, wrinkly hands onto Max’s shoulders. “Do you know anything?” she asked Max.

Max looked around and shoved his hand into his pocket and dug around. He pulled out the envelope. Still un-opened. Jack looked very confused.

“I can’t go” he said.

“Why not?” Jack asked.

“Because I don’t” Max paused and looked at Mrs Rumblelow. Surprisingly, his teacher nodded and winked.

“Go on” she said and her voice didn’t seem as croaky and old as it usually does.

“I don’t deserve it because, I did those things” Max said and hung his head.

“Did what?” Penelope piped.

“I took the cars, and ruined your diorama” Max mumbled, his face red as pepper.

“You did what!” Penelope yelled.

“I ruined your diorama” Max whispered.

“You stole my cars!” Jack butted in before Penelope had time to speak again.
“I am sorry” Max said. Penelope smiled, Jack grinned.

“That’s ok Monkey Max, at least you owned up” Jack said.

“You mean, you’re not going to get super mad?” Max said.

“Just give them back and I won’t tell my parents” Jack said. Max smiled. “Right now” Jack then said.

“Oh, right” Max said and then shuffled in his bag and retrieved a box.

“Awesome” Jack said and turned to Penelope.

“Sorry Miss P” he said and Penelope wrapped Jack in a hug.

“Me to” Penelope said.

“Now” Jack said, “Let’s go see what car is faster” Jack laughed and sprinted towards the door.

“Be there in a second” Penelope called and turned to Max.

“Sorry” Max said. “It was stupid of me to ruin your diorama to get some toys” Penelope nodded understandingly.

“Tomorrow you’re going to glue every piece back together” she said and ran off. Max smiled and turned to the door.

“Max” Mrs Rumblelow said. Max turned remembering his teacher was actually there.

“Sorry” Max said.

Mrs Rumblelow shook her head. She asked for Max to come to her desk and Max did as he was told. Mrs Rumblelow opened one of her draws. She pulled out a tiny brown box and placed it in Max’s hands. Max thanked her and walked outside. Then he sat in front of the class and unwrapped the gift.

Into his lap fell a first edition, toy race car.

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