Professor Jay was ready for class. Making his way to the classroom, he spied one of his students passed out in a chair in a colleague’s office.
“Miss Martha!” Professor Jay said, peeking into the doorway. “Teddy can’t afford another tardy. His academic performance is already unsatisfactory at best.”
Miss Martha shrugged. “He does what he wants.”
The dedicated educator grabbed Teddy by the arm. “Come on,” he said, “you’re going to get a proper education whether you like it or not.”
Teddy did not resist as his teacher led him to their classroom, which was completely empty. “Where is everyone?” Professor Jay wondered out loud.
But Teddy had already fallen asleep at his desk.
The professor nudged Teddy’s leg with the tip of his shoe. “Hey! How do you expect to learn anything if you’re napping all the time? Osmosis?”
Teddy didn’t budge.
Professor Jay huffed. “You may rest your eyes while I gather your delinquent classmates.”
He found George monkeying around in the cafeteria, Ariel lounging by the pool, Joe working out in the gym, and Minnie chatting outside the bathroom with her friend, Daisy.
Once he dragged everyone to class, Professor Jay wrote two words on the chalkboard: Personal Responsibility. “This means that I shouldn’t have to hunt you down like animals! By the time class starts, you should be in your seats, ready to learn.”
There was a knock on the door.
“We’re in the middle of class!” Professor Jay called out.
The door swung open. Frank entered the classroom slowly. “You know what time it is.” He held a paper cup filled with colorful pills.
“Selling drugs now, Frank?” Professor Jay tsked. “So my former student has turned to a life of crime.
Frank glanced at Teddy. “His mother wants him home, now.”
Professor Jay walked briskly towards Teddy and placed his hand on his student’s shoulder. “Impossible. I haven’t dismissed class yet.”
Frank impatiently grabbed Teddy’s arm. “He’s coming with me.”
Professor Jay seized Teddy’s other arm. “No!”
Teddy remained silent, as though his mouth were sewn shut.
Frank and Professor Jay yanked Teddy’s arms back and forth.
Still holding on to Teddy, Frank used his walkie talkie to call for backup.
“Don’t you threaten me with your gang violence!”
Professor Jay used all his strength to free Teddy from Frank’s evil clutches.
To his horror, Teddy’s arm popped out of its socket. Shocked, both Professor Jay and Frank let go. Teddy fell to the ground.
“You monster!” Professor Jay cried, hovering over Teddy.
“It was your fault,” Frank said. “You’re gonna have to explain everything to his mother. You’re in so much trouble.”
An anger that started in Professor Jay’s belly spread rapidly throughout his body. He saw a pencil on the ground and grabbed it. “Stay away from my students!” he cried as he lunged at Frank, plunging the pencil into the side of his neck. After a fleshy squish, a red fountain of blood gushed from a screaming Frank.
Then, Frank’s gang members burst into the room and restrained Professor Jay. One ruffian prepared a needle and approached him, and before he could protest, the needle made its way into his vein. Everything went blurry, then black.
* * *
Professor Jay slowly opened his eyes to find Dr. Rose and Frank staring at him. Frank had a bandage on his neck. They were all seated in Dr. Rose’s office. Jay squirmed in his straightjacket.
“How are you feeling?” asked Dr. Rose. She leaned in towards her longtime patient, her eyebrows furrowed in concern.
Professor Jay sulked in his chair. His head was pounding.
“You owe Frank an apology,” Dr. Rose asked, patting Frank on the back. “You’re lucky he wasn’t seriously injured.”
“He disrupted my class,” Professor Jay said glaring at Frank. And then he remembered his student. “How’s Teddy?”
Dr. Rose held up a stuffed teddy bear missing its arm. White stuffing hung out of poor Teddy. “He’ll be fine.” She placed Teddy down. “In fact, we’re going to take a nice walk around the ward so you can return everyone’s belongings and apologize. But first, is there something you’d like to say to Frank?”
Professor Jay sighed, defeated. “Class dismissed.”