Romper Room by colorguard_diva
Summary: Nick got into trouble again. He is required to do community serrvice in a kindergarten classroom. Will he make it through the year?
Categories: Fanfiction > Backstreet Boys Characters: Nick
Genres: Dramedy, Humor, Romance
Warnings: None
Series: None
Chapters: 6 Completed: No Word count: 5992 Read: 5671 Published: 09/05/10 Updated: 01/26/11
Story Notes:
This story is part of the What I Do From Day To Day challenge that is going on from September to December.

ON HIATUS: I'm taking a break from this one. I hope to come back to it in the future.

1. Chapter 1 by colorguard_diva

2. Chapter 2 by colorguard_diva

3. Chapter 3 by colorguard_diva

4. Chapter 4 by colorguard_diva

5. Chapter 5 by colorguard_diva

6. Chapter 6 by colorguard_diva

Chapter 1 by colorguard_diva

Nick walked out of the restaurant and quickly tried to get to his car. The paparazzi were everywhere. It must have been a busy night of celebrities. This is why he hated living in Hollywood. The paparazzi would never leave anyone alone. He quickly placed his sunglasses on his face, hoping he didn’t get noticed.

“Leave me alone. Please stop taking my picture.” Madison Jo Williams, the current country cutie pleaded with the guys harassing her.

They continued taking pictures of her. The paparazzi were relentless after she had been seen out with Justin Timberlake a few weeks ago and then Justin Bieber the next week. She was the new “It” girl.

“She said leave her alone. Go away and bother someone else.” Nick yelled at them. Even that didn’t stop the camera flashes.

Madison stood their looking scared. She hoped that Nick would be able to stop them.

“Shut the hell up. At least we aren’t bothering you. Wait you are a has been. No one wants to see you.” The man spit in his face.

“I said leave her alone. You can mess with me I don’t care. She’s trying to get to her car. She doesn’t need to be bothered by the scum of the earth.” He attempted to push the photographer away.

The burly man pushed Nick into the street lamp. Nick grabbed the man by the shirt and threw his camera on the ground.

“What the hell? That camera cost a lot of money. You’re a dead man Carter.”

The man lunged at Nick. Punches and obscenities were being thrown around. Madison started to cry. Paparazzi were taking photos. Both Nick and the photographer were bloody. Moments later the loud sirens of a police cruiser stopped at the scene.


Nick couldn’t believe he was up this early during his time off. It was six o’clock in the morning. He had to be at the school by seven thirty. He was not a morning person. Plus he had to drive about forty minutes to get to the school.

Nick was going to be spending the next year volunteering in a kindergarten class. This was his punishment for beating up the paparazzi. They had no right to harass celebrities. Celebrities were just normal people. Nick had enough of watching them harass people. Besides doing a year of community service, he had to pay for the dick’s camera. He didn’t mind paying out a couple of thousand dollars. It was priceless to see him freak out when the camera broke.

Pictures of the fight were all over the internet and television three week later. It didn’t seem to get old. Most of the media portrayed Nick as a hero. He was helping a young girl from the crazy paparazzi. He was just being a good citizen. Nick tried to ignore it all. He tried to keep himself out of trouble, but it had once again found him. This time was a little different. Madison was young and frightened. She was a sweet, naļve and not used to the Hollywood scene.

At first the guys were shocked to see Nick in the headlines again. He was doing so well the past few years. When they realized he was protecting Madison Jo Williams, they lightened up a bit.

The judge had gone easy on him. He could have spent time in jail, but he since he was attempting to protect another human being he had to pay for the camera, pay a fine, and do a year of community service.

Nick was nervous about his community service. He liked kids and thought they were cute, but he had never spent that much time with them. What was he going to do in a kindergarten classroom? He had no experience teaching children.  

He quickly got dressed in jeans and a t-shirt. Then he grabbed a pop tart and headed to the car. He looked at the clock and knew he was going to be late. That sucked because he didn’t want to make a bad impression on his first day. It was going to be a long day.

Chapter 2 by colorguard_diva

Day 1 – September 1

Nick’s Point Of View

I made it in the Finch Learning Academy at exactly seven thirty five. I knew I would be late. It was quiet in the halls. No children were to be found. I quickly made my way to the office. A few of the women stopped and stared at me. Some smoothed their clothes and smiled at me. I pushed down my sunglasses and gave them my trademark smile. The older lady at the desk gave a quick glance and stood up.

“May I help you sir?” She asked seriously.

“Yes, I’m here to volunteer in Miss Caitlin Abbott’s room.”

“Oh, you’re the celebrity that beats up people. Let me call her up. Have a seat.” She was not impressed with me what so ever. I found it refreshing in an odd sort of way.

I sat down and waited for Miss Abbott. I tried to picture in my head. She was probably in her late fifties with gray hair in a bun, thick glasses and orthopedic shoes. Most kindergarten teachers were like grandmas. They wore long dresses with orthopedic shoes. Most likely she never married and lived with ten cats.

“Excuse me, Mr. Carter. Welcome to Finch Learning Academy. I’m Miss Caitlin Abbott.”

Wow! She was nothing like I pictured her. First she was young. I would say that she was in her mid to late twenties. She had shoulder length brown hair and beautiful light blue eyes. She was dressed in a pair of khaki capris with a cute green top. I was clearly wrong about kindergarten teachers. I think I was going to enjoy my time in kindergarten.

“It’s nice to meet you Miss Abbott. I’m Nick Carter.”

“I know who you are.” She said clearly annoyed that I was helping in her room. “Don’t expect special treatment from me or the children. They don’t know who you are.”

I nodded my head.

“Well, let’s go down to the room and get you started.”

On the way down to her room, she showed me the gym, cafeteria, art lab, music room and the playground. The school was impressive. If my school was that nice I might have enjoyed school better.

“Here is our room. Feel free to look around for a bit. I’m going to a meeting and should be back before the kids get here. If they arrive, have them sit in their seats and work on a coloring sheet.”


I walked around the room; everything was decorated in primary colors. I never knew so many things came in red, yellow and blue. It was definitely not stylish. There were many centers for the students including a writing center, art center, dramatic play center, listening center, computer center and a bunch more. I wondered how many kids were in this class, if she needed all these centers.

The sound in the hallway got pretty loud. I peeked out and saw tiny kids putting backpacks and lunchboxes in their lockers. Shit, I thought she would be back by now. I had no clue how to interact with these little munchkins.

“Who are you?” A tiny girl asked me.

I bent down next to her and was still a good five or six inches taller than her.

“My name is Mr. Carter. I’m helping in your classroom.”

“You are not dressed correctly. We aren’t allowed to wear jeans to school. You’re going to get in trouble.” The girl ran to her seat to get away from me. I guess she didn’t want to get in trouble, like I was for my outfit.

A few more students walked in the room and sat down at their tables.  They were working quietly.

“I got to go to the bafroom.” A little boy stood at his seat doing the potty dance.

“Go ahead.” The boy started running to the bathroom.

“Mister, he didn’t show you the symbol for the bathroom. You can’t go to the bathroom without the hand symbol. Miss Abbott says we’ve got to follow the rules.”

“Little boy come here.” He ran back to me and continued to do the potty dance.

“Can you show me the symbol?”

He made a peace sign, with his index and middle fingers. Then he ran to the bathroom.

The tiny girl tapped me on the leg.

“Mr. Carter, we are not allowed to run in the classroom. It is against the law. We are to walk at all times except in gym class or on the playground.” She informed me. What kind of rule was that? What if there was an emergency and you need to run quickly out of the room.

“Thank you for letting me know. Why don’t you finish your coloring?”

I watched as the kids kept coming in. The noise level in the room rose to a level I had never heard before. Even the screaming fans didn’t sound this loud. Two boys were running around chasing each other. A girl was sitting in the dramatic play center picking her nose and eating it. I knew that something should be done, but I had no clue. I just stood and watched; maybe this was a normal occurrence in the morning. I was clueless.

“If you can hear Miss Abbott clap one time.” The students clapped one time.

“If you can hear Miss Abbott clap two times.” The students clapped two times and it was silent in the room.

I was amazed at how well the students listened to their teacher.  They quickly went to their seats and got to work.  Miss Abbott looked at me with annoyance. I think she thought I caused all of the chaos. I was helpless and knew nothing about kids.  I had a feeling this was going to be the longest year of my life.

“Mister could you please tie my shoe?” A small blond boy asked.

I bent down and tied his shoe. These little shoelaces were sure hard to tie. I couldn’t believe people expected little kids to be able to do that.  He smiled at me and went back to his seat.

“Good morning Miss Abbott. Mr. Carter doesn’t know any of our class rules. He broke almost all of them. I don’t think he belongs here.”

“That’s enough Anastasia. Mr. Carter is a grown-up, please treat him respectfully.” She gave the girl a look of warning. I think Anastasia was overstepping her boundaries.

I smiled at the tiny girl and she stuck her tongue out at me. I stuck my tongue out at her.

“Anastasia that is enough. Mr. Carter, we don’t stick our tongues out at children.” She gave me the teacher look.

I was with these children for fifteen minutes, and I didn’t think I was going to survive the year.



Chapter 3 by colorguard_diva

Day 1 – September 1

Caitlin’s Point of View

Having Nick Carter in my room was like having another student. I found myself correcting him as much as I corrected my students. I never thought a thirty year old man could be compared to a five year old child. If today was any indication of what the year was going to like with Nick, I had my work cut out. Maybe this is why so many teachers drank.

“Mr. Carter, we need to discuss my expectations of you for the school year.” I motioned him over to the table. The students were at art class.

“Okay, Miss Abbott.” He smiled and sat at the child size table.

“I take my job very seriously. I expect a lot out of my students. They have a lot to learn in a short time period. We do a lot of hands-on age appropriate activities. At the same time they are expected to listen and follow directions. You will not do anything to interfere with their learning or well being or I will see that you are removed from my class.”

“Yes. I will be on my best behavior.”

“For the first few weeks, you will be assisting me with lessons and activities. You will pass out papers, check papers, get materials ready, pass out snacks, etc. When I see that you are ready I will have you work with small groups of students on math and reading.”

“Sounds like fun.” Nick remarked sarcastically.

“Mr. Carter, I do not need an attitude from you. Personally, I don’t really need your help. You are here because you got into trouble. I do not want to hear you mention why you are helping in the classroom. The students don’t need to know about your personal life. Tomorrow, please do not wear jeans and a t-shirt.”

“What am I suppose to wear?”

“Dress clothes. I’m sure you have some. Dress pants and a dress shirt would work. I expect you to act professionally. You mess with my students; I will mess with your community service.” I looked him in the eye.

“I will be prepared for tomorrow. Is there anything else I need to know?”

He looked uncomfortable. I wasn’t trying to be mean, but I had a lot of expectations. You had to play by my rules if you were going to survive a year in my room. I wasn’t a mean teacher, but I had no tolerance for spoiled celebrities who get into trouble and get thrown into my room for community service. It was ridiculous to have singer coming and working in my room.

“Yes, I would like you to read the chapters on ages five and six in Yardsticks. It will help you understand the developmental stages of the students in this classroom. We will discuss it tomorrow. Do you have any questions?”

“Not at the moment.”

I handed Nick the book and went to my desk to work. Nick sat at the table reading the book I had given him.


Nick’s Point of View

“Mr. Cart, could you please open my chips?” Fred smiled at me.

“It’s Mr. Carter.” I said as I opened the bag.

“Okay Mr. Cart. Thanks.”

I saw another student raise her hand. I walked over to her side of the table.

“What do you need honey?”

“Can you open my yogurt?”

I took the yogurt and pulled the seal off. Pink yogurt splattered all over my shirt.

“Oh shit.”

“Miss Abbott. Miss Abbott. Mr. Carter said a bad word.” Anastasia yelled across the cafeteria.

Miss Abbott walked over to our table.

“What is wrong?”

“Mr. Carter said a bad word.” I gave the little girl a dirty look. She gave me one back. I did not like Anastasia.

“Anastasia there is no need to yell across the room. Please raise your hand if you need my attention.”

“But, Miss Abbott, he cussed in front of us.”

“Anastasia, that is enough. I will deal with Mr. Carter. Please try to remember not to tattle. If you are trying to get someone in trouble that is tattling. If someone is hurt or in trouble you need to tell a teacher or grownup. That is helping. Think about it.”  Miss Abbott walked away from the table.

I was relieved that she didn’t reprimand me in front of the kids. I think I was in more trouble than most of the students in the class. I didn’t know how to act in a school setting. It was a whole different world.  Hanging out with Baylee was nothing like being with twenty kids in the classroom.

“Mr. Carter, cursing is not appropriate or acceptable in the school setting. Please refrain from using bad words.” She gave me the teacher look. I was already tired of that look. Miss Abbott had a habit of treating me like a kid instead of an adult. It wasn’t my fault I wasn’t a teacher. I was learning as I went. I wish she would cut me some slack

“I’m sorry. It kind of slipped. I’m not used to working with kids. I will try harder.” I gave her my best smile. I think I was acting like one of her students.

“Thank you. I apologize for Anastasia’s behavior. She is having difficulty with tattling.”

Miss Abbott handed me a napkin and walked away.

So far my day had been horrible. It was going to be a long year. I thought the fans were crazy, but nothing compared to five and six years olds.


Chapter 4 by colorguard_diva

Day 2 – September 2

Nick’s Point of View

I walked into the classroom. Today I was properly dressed. I had on a pair of khaki pants and a blue button down shirt. It probably wasn’t as dressed up as Miss Abbott would have like, but I was doing my best. I didn’t own nerdy teaching clothes.

“Mr. Carter, you are late. Miss Abbott is going to be mad.” Anastasia told me.

“Miss Abbott sent me to make copies in the office.” I showed her the stack of papers. Anastasia huffed and walked away.

I set the papers down and stood there watching the students quietly come in. I was going to try to learn the names of the children. Miss Abbott said that it would be a good idea to get to know the students.

I walked over to a table. The students were working on printing the letter m.

“That is a very nice m, Missy.” I made sure to look at her nametag.

“Thanks. My sister has your face on her wall.”

“Why are you on her wall, Mr. Cart?”

“Umm…well…when I’m not helping in your room, I sing. It’s Mr. Carter, Freddy.”

“Don’t call me Freddy.  GGGGGRRRRR!”  He growled like a tiger at me. I decided to move to another table.

“Wow, Emma! You have beautiful handwriting.”

The little girl did not look up. She continued printing perfect letter m’s.

“Mr. Carter.” A little boy called me over.

“Yes, Jake.”

“Emma doesn’t talk. She’s very smart, but doesn’t talk to anyone. She’s my cousin. I love her but she doesn’t talk.” He whispered in my room.

“Thanks buddy. Maybe we can help her use her words.”

I felt sad for Emma. What would cause a little girl to not want to talk? Did she go through some type of trauma? Was she abused or did she have speech issues? I would talk to Miss Abbott about Emma.

“Mr. Carter, would you check their papers, while I teach morning math and morning circle? Then you can cut out these shapes for math class tomorrow.” She hand me a stack of shapes that needed cut out.

“No problem Miss Abbott.”

I settled myself at my small desk and got to work.


“Okay, class quietly walked back to your seats.” Miss Abbott had the students clean up their learning centers and sent them back to their tables.

“Miss Abbott, can I pass out my snacks. I brought grapes, pretzels and juice boxes.” A dark haired boy asked.

“Yes, Max. Please pick two helpers. Nick will give each kid a squirt of hand sanitizer.”

I walked around the room giving each child a squirt of hand sanitizer.

“Thank you Mr. Carter for the hanitizer.”

“You are welcome Jake.”

I walked over to Emma’s table she was sitting quietly not looking at anyone in the classroom. I bent down and looked her in the eye.

“Emma, please hold out your hands.”

She quickly held out her hands. I kneeled and squirted some hand sanitizer into her little hands. Emma did not look at me. I tried to get her to look my way, but she made no contact with me. I smiled at her and moved on. I was going to get her to acknowledge me.

A few minutes later the snack was passed out. The kids were eating and chatting quietly. Miss Abbott walked over to me.

“Mr. Carter, you are doing a better job today. I am quite pleased with what I see.”

“Thanks Miss Abbott. I’m really trying hard. What’s up with Emma?”

“Her parents say that she has withdrawn for the past two years. Everything was fine and one day she just stopped talking and tuned people out. They have her in therapy, but so far nothing has worked. She is very bright and understands what is going on. She just won’t talk or interact with people.”

“That has to be hard for her parents. Is there anything that we can do to help?” I watched Emma as we talked. She sat at her table nibbling on a pretzel. Everyone else at her table was chatting with one another.

“Just keep including her in the activities. I think its great how you keep talking to her and getting down at her level. You are doing great with her.”

“Miss Abbott, Tony’s head is stuck inside his shirt.” Anastasia yelled.

All the students at her table started laughing and jumping around. Tony was flailing around trying to get his head outside his shirt. He started putting his head into the sleeve and jumping around as he did it. Miss Abbott quickly walked over to him.

“Tony, freeze.”

Tony kept jumping around and wouldn’t listen.

“Tony Little, please stop.” Miss Abbott raised her voice a little.

He stopped, but his head was still inside his shirt. Miss Abbott quickly helped Tony fix his shirt.

“Tony, you know we don’t wear our shirt that way. You could have gotten hurt or hurt someone else. Please think about your choices. Go sit at the time out table and think about it.”

Tony stomped over to the table. He started to cry. Then he started to howl. It was a full blown out meltdown. I don’t think anyone could hear Miss Abbott reading the story. I was getting a headache. I quietly walked over to the table and sat next to Tony.

“Tony, can you stop crying for a minute and listen to me.”

He looked at me as tears ran down his face.

“It’s not fun getting in trouble. Miss Abbott wasn’t trying to be mean.”

“But she yelled at me. I wasn’t doing anything bad.”

“She was worried about you. You could have gotten hurt. What if your head got stuck in your sleeve?”

“That would have been a problem.” He sniffled and wiped snot on his hand. I got up and grabbed him a tissue.

“Exactly. Miss Abbott cares about you and doesn’t want to see you get hurt. You made a bad choice, but next time you know that it is unsafe to do that.”

“I don’t want to make no more bad choices. I’ll go tell Miss Abbott.” He got up and ran over to Miss Abbott.



Chapter 5 by colorguard_diva

Nick’s Point of View

I had finished my first week of school. Thank goodness it was only a three day week. Now I had a long weekend due to Labor Day. I was ready to enjoy my weekend. The kids had tired me out on the playground.

I sat at the island making my shopping list. Some of my friends were coming over for a cookout the next day. I needed to get a few things. I added the rest of the items to the list and head out to Wal-Mart.

I pulled my car into the parking lot and found the nearest spot to the store. I quickly got out and headed inside.

I was looking at some fruit when I heard one of the most irritating voices. I couldn’t even go to the grocery store without being reminded of school.

“Mom, that’s Mr. Carter. He’s worse than the worst kid in our class. Miss Abbott is always correcting him.” Anastasia said as she pushed her glasses up on her nose.

“I think you should say hello to him. That would be polite.” The little girl sighed and started walking over toward me.

“Hello Mr. Carter.” She poked me on the side.

“Well hello there, Anastasia. It’s a pleasure to see you.” I said with a smile. I just wanted to finish my shopping. Anastasia’s mom smiled at me.

“Hello, I’m Anastasia’s mother, Mrs. Mitchell. It’s a pleasure to meet you.” She took my hand in hers.

“It’s nice to meet you, Mrs. Mitchell.” I replied as she stroked my hand. I was feeling rather uncomfortable. “Anastasia is a very nice girl.”

By the look on Anastasia’s face she thought I was lying. I couldn’t say that she got on my very last nerve. What kind of grown-up would I be? Sometimes you have to tell a little white lie.

“You look so familiar. Do I know you from somewhere?” She totally dismissed the comment about her daughter.

“I don’t think so.”

“I know. You’re that singer. I think I need to help out in Anastasia’ classroom more often.” Mrs. Mitchell smiled sexily at me. I wanted to run out of Wal-Mart and forget about my groceries.

“I’m sure that Anastasia would love that. I need to go. It was a pleasure meeting you. See you at school Anastasia.”

I quickly headed the other direction away from them. Anastasia’s mother was scary. It was like she was trying to hit on me. Why would she do that in front of her child?


“So tell me about this kiddiegarten teacher?” AJ exhaled smoke from his mouth. “Is she old and gray?”

“Far from it. She’s about our age.”

“Is she hot?” AJ stamped out his cigarette and placed his hand in his pocket.

“She’s pretty.” I said calmly. “Does it really matter?”

“Well, yeah. You don’t want to work with someone that’s not easy on the eyes.”

“Damn it J. I’m there to do community service. I’m not there to get laid.” I rolled my eyes. Alex was being a pain in the ass. We were waiting for everyone else to arrive. AJ for some reason had to show up early and annoy me.

“So tell me about the pretty kiddiegarten teacher.”

“Would you stop with the third degree?” I was clearly frustrated. AJ was acting like a kindergartener himself.

“Just tell me about her and I promise no more questions.” He lit up another cigarette, as he stared at me.

“Fine. Her name is Caitlin Abbott. She pretty brown hair and the most beautiful blue eyes I’ve seen.”

“She sounds hot. You may get lucky by the end of the year.” J teased me.

“Miss Abbott doesn’t really like me. She treats me like one of her students.”

“You do act like a five year old most of the time.”

I flicked AJ off and went over to the refrigerator. I grabbed a can of Mountain Dew and chugged it.

“Can’t you use your Carter charm to woo her or are you losing your charm?”

“I’m there for community service. I can’t blow this because she will kick me out of her class in a heartbeat.”

“She sounds like a feisty one. Can I meet her?”

“You’re engaged.” The doorbell rang. “Go see who’s at the door?”


The cookout was in full swing. Everyone was having a good time. I was lounging in a chair watching the sunset, when Brian came over and sat down beside me.

“How’s your community service going?”

“It’s going fine. Thanks for your concern.”

Brian had been pissed when I got into trouble yet again. He said that I wasn’t being the best role model for the fans. Hello, most of the fans were over eighteen and female. I really don’t think I was there role model. I was more their object of lust. Brian softened a little when he realized I was protecting Madison Jo Williams. He was still disappointed that I would stoop to that level.

“You’re still mad at me.”

“Kind of. I hurts that you think that little of me. You act like I did it on purpose.” I exhaled a breath I didn’t know I was holding in.

“Nick, you’re thirty years old. You got be more responsible.”

“I am responsible. I’ve screwed up majorly in the past. I’ve changed. I’m sorry I am a royal fuck up.” I got up and walked away. It sucked when your best friend didn’t support you.

Leighanne walked over to her husband. “What’s Nick problem?”

“Me.” Brian answered morosely.

“You’re not going to like what I have to say, but I’m going to tell you anyway.” She sat down next to her husband. “Nick’s a grown man. He needs to learn from his own mistakes. He didn’t purposely get into trouble. If the paparazzi were hounding me, I would hope someone would defend me. He was trying to do the right thing.”

Brian didn’t say anything for a few minutes. “I guess you’re right. I was too hard on him. It just makes me mad to see him blasted all over the tabloids.”

“I know Bri. I think he’ll be okay this time. Go apologize to him” She pushed him to move.





Chapter 6 by colorguard_diva

Sept. 7

Nick’s Point Of View

The morning went rather quickly. I spent it, making alphabet booklets and cutting up construction paper for apple mosaics. My life was hell. Miss Abbott gave me the most mundane activities. She didn’t think I was capable of handling anything more than busy work. I think she was afraid I would get myself into trouble. She was probably right, but still I could do more than what she gave me.

Lunch was another story. I have never opened so many containers of milk, packets of ketchup, or suckable yogurt. By the end of lunch I had a colorful splatter of food on my brand new white shirt. Word to the wise, never wear white when working with children.

Now I was sitting on the bench on the playground with all of the kindergarten teachers. They were really boring, droning on and on about contracts, the weather, and complaining about other teachers. Miss Abbott sat there quietly not really joining in the conversation. Hell, she wouldn’t even talk to me.

I was bored, so I decided to get up and walk around the playground.

“Mr. Cart, look at me.” Fred yelled at he climbed across the monkey bars. Halfway across his arms got tired and he fell to the ground.

“Good job, Freddy.”

“My name is not Freddy. Don’t call me that. My name is Fred.” He yelled and kicked me in the shin.  Then he ran off.

“Are you okay, Mister?” A little girl from another room asked.

“I’m fine.” I winced in pain. For a kid, he sure kicked hard.

“Do you want me to tell Miss Abbott?”

“No. I’m fine.”

She ran off.

“Mr. Carter do you want to play with us?”  Jake asked.

“Sure. What are you playing?”

“We’re explorers. We are looking for buried treasures. The pirates hid in the tunnel. Let’s go boys.”

Jake and his friends started running towards the tube slide. I followed them up to the slide.

“Down we go. The treasures at the bottom.” A dark haired boy yelled.

“We’ve got to get it. Go down the tunnel.” Jake pushed the boys in front of him down the slide. “Mr. Carter, you going to go down the slide?”

“I don’t know if I will fit, buddy.” I looked at the tube slide. It was made for little kids, not a big oaf like me.

“You can do it Mr. Carter.” Jake said enthusiastically. “I’ll help push you down.”

Jake scooted back so that I could get ready to go down the slide. I sat down and put my legs into the tube. Jake used all his energy to push me. He was grunting and groaning. Slowly I started to go down the slide. When I got a little over half way down, I stopped sliding. Shit I was stuck.

I attempted to wiggle and jiggle free, but I was stuck. I knew going down the slide was a bad idea. I sat there trying to figure out what to do. Before I knew it I felt a pair of sneakers hitting into my shoulder.

“Mr. Carter, why aren’t you moving? They going to get all the treasure.” Then Jake started kicking my shoulders. “Move, move, move.”

“Jake stop kicking me. I’m stuck.” I said irritably.

“How we going to get out of here?” Jake started to whine. The whine turned into a cry.

“Calm down, Jake. Give me a minute to think about it.”

“HELP!!!! HELP!!! WE STUCK IN THE SWIDE!!!” He started yelling.

“Stop yelling.” I replied calmly.

“CALL 9-1-1. HELP!!!

Jake was giving me a headache. I couldn’t think with all his yelling.

Within two minutes, Miss Abbott was at the bottom of the slide. She was trying to look up the slide to see what was wrong.

“Are you stuck in there?” She called up the slide.

Duh, wasn’t that obvious. Why else would Jake be screaming his head off?

“Jake you need to be quiet.” Then I yelled to Miss Abbott. “Yes, we’re stuck. Jake is in here with me.”

“Okay. We’ll get you out.”

A few minutes went by with silence. Jake’s crying turned into soft sniffles.

“Mr. Carter, I am going to gently pull on your legs. I think you will be able to come out of the tunnel that way.”

Caitlin gently grabbed my left calf and gave it a pull. I didn’t budge.

“Did you feel any give?” She asked.

“Nothing. Pull a little harder. I won’t break.” I yelled down.

She pulled my leg harder and I could feel a little movement. Slowly I started to slide down. Caitlin continued to pull my leg. Swoosh; I slid down the last three feet of the slide.

When I stood up, all of the kindergarten students were watching with big eyes. The other teachers looked highly amused. Two of them were snickering behind their clipboards. I felt extremely stupid.

Jake slid out and ran to his friends.

“Did you get the treasure?”

“Everyone go play. You have five minutes.” Miss Abbott called out. The kids scattered.

“Thanks for saving my life.” I gave her a sheepish smile.

“What possessed you to go down the slide?” She gave me her best teacher look.

“Umm…the boys wanted me to play with them. We were busy looking for treasure.”

“I can’t even be mad at you. It was nice of you to play with them. One word of advice stay away from the slides. There for kids, not adults.” She smiled and walked away.

I thought for sure she was going to yell at me or put me in the corner. Miss Abbott had a sense of humor.

I watched her as she sat with the other teachers. They kept looking at me and chuckling. I knew by the end of the day the whole staff would know about my slide incident. I would be the butt of a lot of jokes tomorrow. Would I ever have a normal day at school?




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