My locker wouldn't open. Again!
I stood there for fifteen minutes waiting for the students to come crashing through the doors of the middle school. Ever so slightly hoping that Ben would be among them. But the first flood of walkers came roaming through the halls, and the bus-riders followed shortly after. And he didn't come. I wasn't completely crushed seeing as he hadn't been in school since last Tuesday anyway, but I was now overwhelmed by the thought that I had to go all the way downstairs to Mr. Galls office.
I sucked up my pity and headed down the hall to the office. There, I turned and skipped down two flights of stairs instead of waiting for the elevator. As soon as the stairs ended, I exited through the metal door into a dark hallway. There were no lights until the end of the hall, so I hurried to get into the light. My footsteps echoed on the cold slate floor. I met a wall and was given two ways to continue; to the right, or to the left. What had Mr. Galls said, I wondered. I tried to remember back the two weeks before, but my memory was foggy and I was tired. My Aunt Amy had called that morning and I had to explain myself. That took a lot out of me. But finally I decided to go right, not left.
The light from behind me seemed to evaporate and musty darkness took its place. "Wow," I said out loud, "Mr. Galls has some serious renovating to do down here." My voice echoed off the brick walls and down the hall in front of me. I was starting to lose sight of the exactly where I was going, but persisted on. Soon I was feeling the walls to follow my path. If Mr. Galls had invited me down here, why hadn't he known I was going to have trouble seeing?
And then I tripped. My right ankle caught on something cold and hard, like metal, and I fell my stomach, my arms flailing trying to grab onto something to prevent me from hitting the ground. But instead I landed on boards ascending up. Stairs, I assumed. I pushed myself up, and my foot seared with pain. I winced when I stepped on the first step, then cradled the right ankle the rest of the way up.
The stairs were steep and about two feet high, but didn't go on for very long. I was at the top in 30 seconds, still favoring my ankle. I could suddenly see a bit. Light was shining through an opaque window inside a large, retangular metal door. When I passed the last step onto to the attatched platform I was able to grasp the door handle. I was freezing! A few degrees colder and my hand probably would have stuck to it.
Was this Mr. Galls office? Maybe he liked it cold. Really cold. I tightened my grip on the handle, turned, pulled, and took a step.
And I fell into a pool of icy blue water.