10 Minutes of Recess (Billy's Story)

10 Minutes of Recess (Billy's Story)

A Story by despitegreathands

A three year old boy stares into a beautiful sign and begins to examine himself and his life in relation to the sign, only to end up at a startling, life affirming realization.


10 Minutes of Recess

“Saint Mary's Preschool of Our Lord Jesus Christ (and the holy mother Mary and the carpenter Joseph)”

Four year old Billy Tannen stared at the sign hanging on the chain link fence while the rest of his classmates played behind him. The sign, covered in blues, purples, yellows, reds, triangles, squares, circles, and rectangles, all of it, held Billy's attention as the rest of his preschool classmates enjoyed the burst of sunshine on an unusually bright winter morning. The amount of sun in the sky was rare on a winter day in Washington State. The sky was usually a sidewalk gray with light rain, but today the clouds were few and the sun was high and beautiful.

The weather was so good that little Billy Tannen took of his blue jacket for the first time all throughout the school year. The jacket slipped off and met the dirt with silence. In fact, for Billy, there was no sound anywhere. There was no wind blowing past his ears that he could hear. No sounds of laughter or screams or voices from the rest of his classmates. He didn't even hear the chime ringing from the school that there was only ten minutes left of recess. Something about the giant sign captivated Billy. But he didn't know what.

Billy's pale skin and dusty blonde hair made him practically invisible in a school filled with pale kids with dusty blonde hair just like him. Often times he would act out in class, hoping to show the world he was unique, but instead he would just be ignored by the nuns and shunned by his peers. It was as if no matter how hard he tried, no one could see Billy the way he saw himself.

Much like Billy, no one acknowledged the sign. No one saw it for its bright colors and loud shapes and exaggerated letters. For such a beautiful sign, it was largely ignored by everyone. It was just part of the scenery. Nothing special, nothing beautiful, just another sign in a world full of signs.

The clouds began to move and block out the sun as Billy's mind began to wander. He imagined coming home after his school day had ended only to hide away in his room. For months now Billy hid in his room as his parents yelled and screamed at each other. It always ended the same, after they yelled Billy's mother would come in his room, and she would hold him as tears would roll down her cheek. She'd kiss him and tell him that she's sorry they scared him so badly and that “mommy and daddy are just so stressed baby, but it's OK. It won't be like this forever”. Then his father would come in and sit at the foot of Billy bed.

“Hey champ” he'd say “No matter what happens, me and your mom will always love you”

Billy hated going home. If he could be invisible, really invisible, he'd be invisible at home. The more he thought about it, the more he envied the sign. “At least the sign gets to stay here” he thought.

The nuns began to bring the kids inside as recess had ended and classes were to begin again. Billy stared, he just wanted to stare a little bit longer. If he could just stare for a few more seconds, he'd get it. He'd understand. But the nuns called him by name. He had to go. His time was up.

Then, like lightning, he realized it. The thought washed over him and he understood. This thought, this single revelation, shook him from the trance like state he had been in. A sparkle twinkled in his eye and a smirk emerged at the right corner of his mouth. After all the staring, and thinking, he realized something.

“Wait, what the f**k? What the f**k is this giant piece of paper for anyways? I can't even read this s**t! I'm only four years old. I don't know how to read goddamn anything! D****t, did I just waste my whole f*****g recess looking at shapes and colors and s**t?! F**K ME. And oh look, my jacket is covered in dirt now. Awesome, so f*****g awesome. I bet this dumbass sign doesn't even say anything! It's just a giant a*s distraction for easily distracted m***********s like me. Oh. Oh you tricky b*****s. YOU TRICKY BLACK AND WHITE PENGUIN LOOKING B*****S. Alright, you got me this recess. But tomorrow, tomorrow this m**********r is playing tag. Oh i'm playing tag all recess long and no giant colorful a*s paper is going to get me.”

Billy's hand slammed against his forehead as he realized his time was up. He calmly picked up his jacket and walked inside just before the rain began to fall.

© 2014 despitegreathands

Author's Note

I hope this changes someones life.

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Added on June 30, 2014
Last Updated on June 30, 2014



Chesapeake, VA

Hello! I'm a new writer. I'm from VA and just graduated with a Poli Sci degree. more..