1. In elementary school I had a gym teacher. His name was Mr. Stevenson.
  2. He was an asshole.
  3. Before I even knew what that word was the feelings were there toward this guy.
  4. He was older. In his fifties or sixties.
  5. When we'd all be doing laps or whatever he used to take out a golf club and practice his swing.
  6. He was very yelly and antagonistic. He never did anything bad or rude to me personally but I always just hated him.
  7. I also hated gym class in general which didn't help.
  8. But one time he scared a kid so bad with his attitude the kid forgot his own birthday (we were lining up from youngest to oldest for some reason) and Mr. Stevenson flipped his lid and the kid started crying.
  9. Anyway Mr. Stevenson was one of the people in charge of the bus signs. Kids would be designated 'bus sign holders', holding numbered signs in front of the buses at the end of the day so no one got on the wrong bus by accident. I'm not sure if this is a common thing in elementary school but anyway...
  10. My bus was always right at the front door of the school where Stevenson would stand waiting for the bus sign holders to return their signs when everyone had gotten on the buses.
  11. And one day in I think fourth grade...I can't remember what he did exactly but I was pissed at him for whatever reason...and he was turned around, or so I thought, and I stuck my tongue at him. I stuck my tongue out at him so hard I closed my damn eyes.
  12. And when I was through with the deed I opened my eyes to find Mr. Stevenson looking at me in horror with this exact face 😧
  13. Did he recognize me? Did he see me? Oh my god what if I get in trouble. What if I get expelled. I made a face at a teacher. What's the punishment for that?
  14. It was just as the buses were pulling away. I thought for sure he'd stop the whole thing in order to drag me off it. I was mortified. The bus started moving and he continued to look at me, mouth agape. I slid down my seat in horror.
  15. I didn't have gym class again for a few days. Maybe he'd forget. It'll cool down.
  16. The next few days were torture. I thought for sure the foot of the law was gonna come down on me any second.
  17. While my class was in our two even lines walking to lunch/art/library we passed Stevenson in the hall a couple times and I put my head down and faced the wall trying to avoid his gaze.
  18. Here we go.
  19. Then it was time.
  20. I got my gym clothes on...and it was a fairly normal day...we were outside that day learning soccer exercises or something. It was going smoothly...Stevenson didn't seem to remember or acknowledge me.
  21. Then. In the middle of class. Oh shit.
  22. Fuck.
  23. He's walking toward me.
  24. What do I do. Can I just run away? Is there an eject button?
  25. No. I am forced to stand there while I'm waiting my turn to kick a damn soccer ball as Stevenson calmly walks in my direction. Then about fifteen feet away he crooks his finger at me to go toward him.
  26. FUCKKK.
  27. He looks down at me. He doesn't bend down to my height to look me in the eye. He looks down at me like I'm a bug.
  28. "Did you stick your tongue out at me?" he drops the bomb.
  29. I can't keep myself together and start crying. Yes I tell him. Yes I did.
  30. "May I ask why?" He's being super calm. This is the calmest I've seen him be in the face of a student meltdown.
  31. I can't think of a lie fast enough so I just level with him. Through sobs I say it. "I don't like you very much!!!"
  32. "Why don't you like me?"
  33. "I don't know. Because you're mean!"
  34. I can't quite remember what happened in the moment after this. I could tell he was mad but he was trying to be nice about it. He said something sermon-like trying to teach me a lesson but I was so shocked that I told him I didn't like him to his face I wasn't paying attention.
  35. But I do remember his last word on the matter. He was trying to be jokey to diffuse my crying but I took it deadly serious in the heat of the moment.
  36. "If ya stick your tongue out again I'll have to cut it out!"
  37. In hindsight he really was just trying to make me laugh or something but it horrified me. He told me to pull myself together and get back to soccer.
  38. He never mentioned it again after that. I'm pretty sure I never even spoke to him again after that to be honest.
  39. In fifth grade I didn't ask for his signature in my year book.
  40. I'm told he's retired now. Good riddance.