I think these two people must have lain awake in bed at night to dream up new ways to humiliate my sister and I.
I open my lunch bag so ready for a bite of food. Hunger was a way of life for me. Always hungry. Always worried when the next meal would be.
Back to my lunch in it's brown paper bag. The top folded over so carefully.
All my friends seated at the same long table, eating the food from the school cafeteria. It always smelled so good. Like it was cooked with love for children. Sloppy Joe's on the menu today. The wonderful sweet smell permeating the cafeteria.
The lunchroom is full as usual at noon. Children chattering and laughing. All of my friends eating, joking and talking about the new boy in our class that is so cute.
"Lana, have you seen him? He's dreamy."
Nodding "yes" and laughing
I pull my sandwich out of the bag and unwrap the wax paper it's packaged in and hurriedly take a huge bite. Going to school works up an appetite.
In seconds, I am choking and running to the Girl's Room coughing but trying to hide it.
Face red. Embarrassed. Sick.
I slam open the stall door. Gagging and spitting. Using my hands to scrape it off my tongue.... Anything to get the vile bite of food out of my mouth.....
The sandwich was coated on both sides with red HOT Tabasco Sauce and mouse droppings. I could feel them in my mouth.
Tiny crunchy bits of black.
Hot and disgusting.
Did anyone see?
What would all the other kids say if they knew I just ate a mouthful of mouse poop coated in hot sauce between two slices of bread?
I scrub my mouth over and over, splash water in my face to hide the tears that have streaked my face.
No lunch again today.
What will tomorrow be?