Paper Planes by ill20582


									Julia Drake

                                          Paper Planes

                                           By Julia Drake

In kindergarten, Mrs. Lang said, “Today we’re making paper planes.” She grouped us

into pairs to work on the project. She pointed to Lars. Lars was going to be my partner.

Lars was the biggest of us kids. The hair on his blocky head was blonde, like hay, but it

fell soft across his face, like cotton balls.

        Lars sat down beside me. Mrs. Lang explained to us how to fold the paper into a

plane, then we tried to do it ourselves. I folded part of the paper, then gave it to Lars, and

he folded the next part. He had stubby fingers, but they were swift. Then it was my turn

again. We went on like this until the plane was done. It looked okay. I liked it. He liked

it. We nodded at each other.

        Mrs. Lang said, “Now poke a little hole into the top of your plane and thread the

red yarn through it. That way we can all hang up our planes in the classroom and watch

them fly!”

        I took the balled-up red yarn and unthreaded some of it, an arm’s length maybe,

then held it out for Lars to cut it. He took the scissors—tiny and yellow—and then inched

the yarn between the blades, right by my left finger. He was going to cut the yarn, but
                                                                 Julia Drake/Paper Planes       2

then he decided to cut my finger instead. A second later, blood spurted out the hole where

my fingertip had been. Like a tiny volcano.

Mrs. Lang came running over, alarmed by my cries, but before she could grip Lars, he

seized my bleeding finger and stuck it into his mouth. I felt his teeth clamp onto my bone

like a vice grip. Mrs. Lang tried to pull Lars away from me, screaming, “Lars! Let her


       Lars didn’t make a sound. He seemed to be concentrated on this one task of

containing my finger in his mouth. My finger felt warm in that dark, moist cave.

       Mrs. Lang’s screams finally alerted the teachers in the other rooms. They called

the principal. Then the principal, the other teachers and Mrs. Lang attempted to pull Lars

away from me. For fear that he’d take the rest of my finger with him, they stopped doing

that and instead bullied him with buzz words like parents, punishment, and expulsion.

None of that made sense to Lars. He held on, concentrated as ever.

       This went on for an hour or so—I don’t remember exactly—but then, just before

his parents arrived, Lars let go. Just like that. My finger was still there, only the tip was

missing. No one bothered to find it, except Lars. It had dropped underneath the rocking

horse. He gave it back to me before his mother stormed into the room. She gripped his

hand and said to me, “I’m so sorry,” before she dragged him out.


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