It was a cold, cloudy day in early March. A strong wind shifted across the playground, brushed the swings, caressed the jungle gym, and finally found its way through a window.
Mr. Simmons shivered. "Who opened this window?" He asked as he shut it. A spitball whizzed past his ear. "Harold," The Teacher said without looking, "What have I told you about spitballs in the classroom? Once more and I will be forced to take your special shooter away." Clearing his throat, he hopped on the edge of his desk and grabbed a clipboard.
"Class, I know that you know that each of you are very special…"
"Here we go again…"
"But, I don't think that you know exactly how special some of you are. We each have talents and abilities unique to ourselves, because…"
"That's who we are." Half the class chorused with him.
"Right." Mr. Simmons chuckled lightly. "You're getting good at this! Now," He tapped the board against his thigh. "I want you to walk a mile in some else's shoes."
"If you think I'm getting my brand new, imported designer, lacey Belgian socks into Harold's sweaty sneakers, you are sadly mistaken, Mr. Simmons." Rhonda said with a toss of her dark hair.
"It's a metaphor, Rhonda, and I'm glad to see you got something out of Friday's lesson on adjectives. What I mean is, I want you to live someone else's life for a week!" The class murmured. "I want each of you to switch places with someone, live in their house, go to their extracurricular activities, and so on and so forth." Mr. Simmons' gaze swept the classroom. "I will be assigning each of you a very special someone to trade with, and on Monday, you will give a report on that person. Now, Sid and Gerald will switch places…"
"Aw, man." Gerald put his head down on his desk.
"Along with Lila and Curly, Rhonda and Stinky, Helga and Arnold…" Helga started.
"Me and Arnold?" Quickly, she raised her hand. "Mr. Simmons, I gotta go the bathroom!"
"Phoebe and…" Mr. Simmons looked up. "My, Helga, you sure need to go to the bathroom a lot."
"It's an emergency!" Helga put on her sweetest face, the one she learned from Olga. "Pleeease?"
"Well, all right. Take a pass." He continued. "Phoebe and Harold, Nadine and Eugene…"
Helga burst through the bathroom door and into a stall. Pulling out her locket, she sighed. "Oh Arnold, Apollo of Earth, how strange the fates are, putting us together yet again. It must mean for you to belong to me, I must learn more about you. But I already know how loving, how kind, how patient you are! What more can I learn about you, my sweet majestic angel?" She delicately kissed her locket and put it back in her dress.
Whistling, Helga walked out of the stall and into the stares of three sixth graders. She glared as fierce as she could. "Tell anyone and you'll find your scrunchies down your throats!" She growled. And with a "Humph!" left them gaping.