Today, this may not be a big deal anymore. Back in the day, when you were told that you would be sent to rthe Principal’s office, it was a huge deal. It meant you are in deep trouble. It meant you were in more trouble than you woud be asble to handle. Just the word Principals office had a ring of doom to it.
Everybody knew where the Principal’s office was located in the building, and even passing by made you change your pace. You were hurrying to class but walk slower, more quietely by that one door. If you had to have some administrative dealings with the secretaries, you had to knock on that dreaded door. Your eyes were glued to that door to the room in the back of the secretaries and you were praying to whatever power would listen, you would never have to walk through that heavy door, into that very office. Your eyes were glued and meslerized, you were like the prey eying the snake, until and unless the door started to open. Then you bashed your eyes, possibly with a jaw drop. You would utter and stutter a greeting with all respect you could muster and pray harder, eyes closed firmly. The secreteries would notice. Sometimes they would tease you by insisting you glance over some paper or another while the Principal walked – floated – through the room.
It made no difference if the Principal was a woman or a man, young or old, thin or fat, whether they wore a dress or a suit, a tie or a purse, skirt or pants. It made no difference whether they had sneakers or high heels. It made no difference whether they were strict or rather caring, whether they were grumpy or friendly. To you they were like a visitation, like a divine force and you would avoid any confrontation at any cost.
Up until the day, where the threat by a teacher did not do the trick. When the charm of the dread and the respect and fear would not hold you on your designed straight and narrow. And then the words would be spoken, and that is when your heart sank. This is when your world as you knew it, ended. Those few words, benign, but destructive as torpedoes, sinking any battleship in seconds. That nuke erridating the fortress of resistance and resiliance. the end to any sass or bratting, to any entitlement or willfullness.
your name, go to the Principal’s office.
That was enough to rain on any parade. Enough to ruin your day, make you stop mid tracks. It did not matter how old you were, how right you were, what cause you had and what you thought. How you believed to be justified or in a strong position. When that quake shook you up, your world came crumbling down. No pleading, no begging was going to safe you, and there was no appealing. Your fate was sealed and it was a gloomy fate.
You had no choice, nor a say in this amtter and so you obeyed even if walking towards that door now was a horror. Every step was a fight against all flight wishes. To be anywhere but here, to be anyone but you, but there was no avail. There would be music to be faced you dreaded to hear. You dragged your leaded feet, inch by inch, making slow motion seem like a fast pace. Your eyes were glued to the floor before your feet, getting clouded by tears dwelling in your eyes. No joke on your lips would be of any help, no thought could distract you, from the doom that was impending and closing in on you, with every step you took or tried to evade. Everyone, everybody knew by the way you walked where you are headed, whether they had heard the verdict sending you there, or not. Your body language screamed at high volume ordered to the Principal’s office
You did not see the glances of those feeling for you, the few compassionate ones, who either dreaded that walk like you had all life, or, who had been on that Via Dolorosa before and knew exactly how you must feel. The chosen few who had enough compassion in them, and humanity to not make your matters even worse. But most people were rude and harsh. Would taunt you, laugh at you, make fun of you. teasing you with the inevitable. A lot of them had been in your shoes before but believed by playing hard ass and being bitches it would somehow make their own leaded feet once gone by seem less dreadful, more benign. Their bullying being just background music, because you, happily, would have taken that flock, that pain, the ridicule and finger pointing if it just would spare you that, horrid fate closing in on you mercilessly.
Whether you had to wait outside or were late, you would pause before knocking at the door, and with a meek broken voice, barely a whisper, announce to the secretaries, that you, full name, is reporting, as ordered to the –
your voice gave out.
the what? they would ask and tell you to speak up. As if you had the strength to speak at all, let alone at a higher volume. You were ready to faint, praying the earth would swallow you whole, but to no avail.
as ordered to the Principal’s office you would say, sniffling and trying to blink the tears away forcing their way into your eyes. And now you would be made to wait, again, and you would hear a secretary announce your arrival, and you would want to die, and your stomach was a mess, and you were afraid you would literally do in your pants.
And then the secretary opened the door, and you were invited in, and then you knew, that all you had endured up until now, was the fun part, compared to the hell that avaited, inside