Something suddenly hit me from behind as I was picking up the Coke can and I ended up on the ground. The can flew from my hand at some point, then rolling the length of the canteen and hitting the far wall. I stared, wondering how it got out of my grip.
The room descended into complete chaos, everyone stampeding towards the door. I stayed on the floor, pinned by whatever had put me there in the first place. Twisting, I saw it was a ‘who’ more than a ‘what’. A boy from my French class that morning that I hadn’t liked the look of. He spent most of the class at the back, half-asleep. He was staring at the Coke can.
Well, I thought, No good staring at it.
I moved before him, squirming my way free and heading for the wall where the can rested.
“Don’t open it!” he yelled.
“Well of course I’m not going to!” I shouted back, “It’d explode if I opened it after that!”
He mumbled something to himself and got up, dusting himself off. I continued on, intent on getting to the can and finding out what all the fuss was about. Well, if a coke can was going to make a few hundred people charge out of a room, it had to have something interesting going on, right? Worth finding out if it topped some of the things I’d seen.
My tackler ran past me when I was halfway across. I left him to it. I do not run. I walk with poise and elegance. No exceptions. Well, fine, there have been a few exceptions but they were well justified…
He stopped when he reached it. Circled it a couple of times. Eventually took off his jumper and threw it over the can.
“What are you doing?” I asked, though I was sure I was going to regret it.
“Well I can’t touch it, can I?” he said, rolling his eyes at me as he scooped up the bundle.
“What, are you allergic to aluminum?”
He just gave a dramatic sigh. I started to hate him just a little bit more. In fact, I had just made a conscious decision to avoid him for the rest of my life when he vaulted over the counter into the canteen’s kitchen.
“What are you doing?” I called. Today was turning into ask-a-question-you-know-you’ll-regret day.
“Getting a box.”
“To put the can in, what else?!”
“What is your problem with carrying the can? Why do you want to carry the can? Just put it back if it’s that much of a problem!”
He paused. “Good point.”
I gave a dramatic sigh of my own as he climbed back over the counter. “Well. Whatever is going on, I have better things to do than watch you work out what to do with a can of Coke.”
“Watching grass grow,” I replied, heading for the door. And maybe getting out of here right now before I get tangled up in anything too weird…
“Just one second and you can go do that. You’re staying here until I get this back where it was.”
“You need to be supervised? It’s a Coke can!”
He shook his head. “Just stay there. If this goes wrong, it’s all your fault.”
I folded my arms and leaned against the door I had been about to leave through. He seemed appeased by that.
There was no reassuring explanation for what happened next