[dropcap]G[/dropcap]rade five was one of the high points of my life: I had great friends, a great teacher, and I let out my inner rebel.
This story begins with the ‘hot lunch’ in elementary school. My forgetful friend Bronwyn forgets her chocolate milk in her locker. Partner-in-crime Brietta suggests we conduct an “experiment.” The milk is to stay in Bronwyn’s locker until it grows mould.
Weeks pass, and wheelchair-bound Bronwyn, who was unable to even reach the top shelf where the milk sits, continued to endure the rancid smells emanating from the drink in her locker. Sinister Brietta and myself frequently check in on our creation, but we soon realised our experiment needed to go in a much different direction.
Brietta and I often broke the rules. We ran through the hallways, frequently adventured out of bounds, skipped pointless assemblies, and often hid in the girl’s bathroom during rainy recesses. One of these bathrooms eventually became our clubhouse.
Throughout the school year we’d been trying to concoct a mighty prank, something that would distinguish our rebellion against our draconian grade five institution. Our previous ventures included stealing the class butterfly to set it free, and crawling across classroom floors after being purposefully separated in order to pass very important notes to each other.
Months after that initial hot lunch, Bronwyn was still unable to reach the likely toxic dairy product, and Brietta and I finally discovered the perfect prank: we’d fill the soap dispenser in our bathroom-clubhouse. Brilliant.
So, we took the milk to our clubhouse, laughing maniacally as we ran. We pumped all the fresh, pink, clean soap out of the dispenser and poured the thick, chunky, discoloured milk in. Now all our perfectly innocent female classmates were going to get rancid milk on their hands. This would show ‘the man.’
Days passed; we soon forgot about our prank and moved on to bigger and better rule-breaking endeavours, until the teacher took me out of class. She frowned at me and asked, “Paige, did you put milk in the soap dispenser?”
I shook my head in fear. She asked again, adding, “Paige, tell the truth. You will be in less trouble if you tell the truth.” I sighed, and admitted to my horrendous crime, and was swiftly taken to the principal’s office, while my partner in crime sat innocently in class.
After a very frightening lecture from my principal where I was told this would never be expected of such a “well-behaved, good student,” and a call home to my dad to set up a parent-principal meeting, I was sent back to class shell-shocked, assuring Brietta I hadn’t ratted her out.
My dad was informed of my wrongdoing, and, completely underwhelmed, didn’t punish me at all. So, other than a firm scolding from my principal, we got out scot-free. But there was one lingering problem: which culprit had snitched on us?
Our first thought was Bronwyn, since she knew all about the crime and we had basically forced her to suffer with stinking milk in her locker for months, but forgetful Bronwyn was forgetful and easily ruled out. We tried to find the culprit for weeks, interrogating classmates from all around the school, but the mystery was never solved.
To this day, we still don’t know which of our grade five classmates turned me in. All I can say is this: we’re not sorry that whoever snitched got a soapy surprise. They got what they deserved.