I asked Mae twice.  She squealed, we get a pizza party.  I didn’t respond.  Even the second time.  I think she felt the need to explain:  “When the plastic tub is full of candy wrappers the class gets a pizza party.”  Mae tells me it has to be full even when you press down the lid.  “It can’t close.  It looks full but it hasn’t been pressed down yet.”  She looks at the jar in a way I don’t think I’ve ever looked at anything.  At least not recently.  I tell her there are lots of wrappers by the eighth grade lockers.  I offer to collect them but she tells me I don’t have to.

Mae’s teeth are too big for her mouth.  I’m not sure she’ll grow into them.  I pulled up a picture of her mom and her dad.  Neither appear to have this characteristic.  It might work out, though.

She shakes her head when I tell her I eat a lot of candy.  “I could give you the wrappers.”  She runs off darting between the taller seventh and eighth graders, like a little human sandpiper.

I know I shouldn’t, but I do.  I unwrapped a complete bag of lifesavers right in front of her and said here.  She told me that’s cheating.  You can’t do that.  Now she won’t even look at me when I come into the classroom to empty the trash can.  Tells me I wouldn’t be invited anyway.

I hope Mae’s teeth stay big.  And the kids make of fun her when she gets braces.

Tonight, I’m going to dump out those wrappers.  No one’s going to get a pizza party and Mae’s not going to look at that stupid bin.

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About Roger D'Agostin

Roger D'Agostin is a writer living in Connecticut. His work has appeared in HCE Review and the Esthetic Apostle. He is currently working on a book of short stories.