In the Wrong Niche


"Okay, I want you to answer the following question, how did the security guard know that there were intruders in the building?"

Someone raised their hand and answered. Mr. Toiler listened to the answer, nodded his head in agreement and then went on describing the rest of the Watergate incident.


We were in the middle of the Civil War when all of a sudden he felt like telling us the story of the scandal of the Nixon administration. My eyelids began to drop, my head falling heavily on my hand.

"Mr. Veneer?" my eyelids half opened.

"Yes, sir?" I asked.

"How did the investigation lead to Mr. Nixon?" He asked, looking at me like an owl. He had a habit of putting his hands on his waist, pushing his upper body forward, which made him look like a clucking chicken.

"The tapes?" I guessed, not bothering to sit up.

"Ah… it's a little bit more than that…" he cringed, looking unsatisfied. Someone else raised their hand and answered. I was not called on again.

Finally the bell rang, ending the last class of the day. I breathed out in relief, now I could go and get some sleep.

"Hello, Alexander," said Laurence, my roommate at Stonewall All Boys Academy. I nodded at him, hoping to discourage him from further conversation. He was the type of person that would not stop talking, whether about himself or the topic, if you encouraged him. He looked like one of those too- meaning he looked like a nerd. Glasses, pink, fat cheeks, a sweater vest, and a tie included.

I let the books fall at the foot of the bed and then dropped myself on it facing towards the wall.

"Long day?" Laurence inquired, I grunted. "Me too, I had to take two tests today… well you know how it is…"

I tried to drown out his mumbling, but his nasal voice penetrated through my defenses.

After about half an hour of this I couldn't take it anymore, especially with a growing headache. I got up, gave Laurence a dirty look, picked up my books, and left the room. Laurence said something just as I stepped out the door, but I didn't hear it.

The only place I could go after being unable to sleep in my own room was the library. Of course, sleeping on the table wasn't as comfortable, but I could do my homework there also. Laurence usually left the room for dinner around six and then he studied, so I'd be able to sleep then. At least I hoped.

I walked to the furthest table in the library and sat down, letting my books fall on top. I dropped into the chair and pulled one of them closer to me. It was my history book. I frowned and pushed it away. If I started reading that, I knew I'd fall asleep. So instead I got my math book, opened to the assigned page, and started working on the problems.

After a few minutes however, the numbers began to swim and merge together. Suddenly there was an acute pain in my nose and I realized I'd hit the desk with my face. I heard some snorts and laughter but didn't care enough to see who it was. Stupid people laughing at other people's pain. I ignored them, but knew that I wouldn't be able to get any homework done, if any. I put my head between the crook of my folded arms and closed my eyes with the intention to fall asleep.

This was how almost everyday since last year passed. I could admit that it was… pretty crappy, but when you're a girl in an all boys school, well, no day is entirely boring.