Stories » Slap at the Wrong Time

Slap at the Wrong Time

[Imagen: LPDS/Wombo Art]


Get to school... the school of harm,good teachers... to learn to hate.Ilegales, 'Destruye


He had started at school like all children of his generation, or almost all. That is, still very innocent and with very good intentions. The school would be his second home; the teachers, his second parents. Or that was what he had been told. And he, naturally, trusted.

It was an ordinary afternoon of that year in which Marty was at his desk, awaiting instructions from Miss Ubaldine, his teacher; also the teacher for a little more than 20 students who were waiting at their respective positions, most of them debating, just like Marty, between uncertainty and fear. Marty, who was seven years old, wondered over and over again why in this new class they sat individually, when in the previous year they shared large circular tables as a group. He liked that community disposition more, he had a better time, learning with Ms. Ethel, his adored teacher, surrounded by his classmates and friends.

Miss Ubaldine, with her always sober dress and her no less usual face with fearful rectilinear features, similar to a cold and square mailbox on the wall, emanated a distillate of vinegar that, at any moment, could pass into a sulphurous state. Supposedly endowed not only with knowledge, but also with the most important thing in her profession, her pedagogical skills, she kindly addressed her childish audience in order to convey the tasks to be carried out that December afternoon. Yes, it had to be the last month of the year, and soon you'll find out why.

That was one of those days that the educational center called 'Plastic Arts', which meant going accompanied by the entire arsenal for the occasion. Namely, 'Plastidecor' paint case, 'Alpine' colored pencil case, 'Milan' eraser and imagination, lots of imagination; On the other hand, this time it would not be so necessary, since the work was perfectly defined in advance, with hardly any room for improvisation. The bittersweet teacher -also from time to time exhibited few and ephemeral flashes of sweetness- distributed to each student a sheet that contained only the black outline of the most representative figures of a typical Christmas Nativity Scene: the baby Jesus in his crib flanked by the Virgin Mary and Saint Joseph, in the company of an ox, or perhaps a cow; it seemed not to be clear, and so it could be deduced from the murmur raised about it; on the other hand, what for some looked like a mule, for others was clearly a horse. Miss Ubaldine was beginning to get nervous after the hubbub that had formed around the true identity of the non-human figures that inhabited this stable. As usual, she nipped the problem in the bud.

- Silence! Silence! Are you idiots? Or do you want to tease me?

She always took everything personally. Years later she would read in a book what was probably happening to Miss Ubaldine; his behavior seemed to obey an inferiority complex and lack of self-esteem, after experiencing a somewhat traumatic childhood, especially in his relationships with his parents, where the lack of unconditional affection, understanding and tolerance was replaced by a cardboard-stone affection , pregnant with flattery, overprotection and imposition.

- If that's okay, memo shortcut! Those who accompany the Divinity are a cow and a mule –said Miss Ubaldine yelling. So now you are starting to fill in the different contours you see on the sheet with color!
- A cow? Well, I don't see her boobs –replied a student from the last row.
- Is it a dairy cow? -asked another who was two desks ahead.
- What I really see here is a bull -it was heard from the first rows.
- It looks like a buffalo -someone yelled from a desk next to a window.

Within seconds, Miss Ubaldine's cheeks were already in tune with the pepper red of her lipstick, her bloodstream was traveling at the speed of light, and her vocal cords were ready to break through the barrier of air. sound.

- Damn it! I don't care if it's an ox, a cow or the bull that killed Manolete. But what is true is that from now on till the end of the class you are going to stick your noses on that sheet and you will not go home until you have painted it completely!

After Miss Ubaldine's thunderous and threatening words, a deathly silence invaded the classroom and everyone got to work. Marty had not been clear about the bull that killed Manolete; yes, instead, the rest of the message.

The end of the class was approaching and the teacher took the opportunity to take a walk between the desks to see how the work was going. It was a very little walk; just the time it took her to scan Marty's picture, who without noticing the nearby presence of the foreman, was busy putting the finishing touches on his pictorial work. Miss Ubaldine touched Marty's back lightly; using a tone of voice as delicate as deceitful, and displaying a cynical kindness, she asked the kid to stand up. Barely Marty had gotten up, while turning to her, she brutally impacted the palm of her hand on his off-guard face. The slap, as perfect as bestial in its execution, left some ephemeral physical traces; the same would not happen with the psychological ones. A slap at the wrong time, a slap totally out of place.

- What abnormal can think of painting the straw in the Child's cradle blue?! Miss Ubaldine bellowed out of herself and before the general astonishment in the classroom.

Deeply dazed and still in tears, Marty found himself walking home. He moved like a sleepwalker, his legs carried him, as if they knew the route by heart, but his mind floated elsewhere, oblivious to his surroundings, oblivious to the even greater mistreatment that he had yet to suffer and, of course, oblivious to the hasty and convincing phone call from the school Principal to his parents. The same ones who not only accepted the official version of the center, but also forced his son to go to bed without dinner as punishment, without even wanting to hear his version of what happened.

After experiencing for the first time a simultaneous strangling rage and hatred, Marty also wondered if Baby Jesus, like Miss Ubaldine and her parents, was terribly angry with him. He began to pray and soon fell asleep.

The next day, while he was having breakfast, he began to clearly remember the dream he had had and in which a sweet and sincere voice had whispered in his ear: “Where the clueless mind of Miss Ubaldine saw straw and nothing but straw in my cradle, your awake mind perceived a small blue blanket. Well, to be exact, your awake mind… and your common sense, because... who in their right mind would deposit a newborn and diapered baby directly on a pile of straw?”