Ring! May’s alarm clock stirred her and ruined her blissful dream. She rubbed her eyes and shook her head. Wait a minute, it’s a school day! May couldn’t wait to see Ms.Smarty, her teacher, after the long weekend. She lept out of bed and got ready. May blinked at the sunny world. Everything seemed like a blurry blanket had covered it. May walked on, she was used to it. On the way to school, May smelled the crisp autumn morning and heard the crunch of leaves on the sidewalk. The town where she lived, Compassville, Anieda Map, looked so pretty in the fall. May also saw knots of friends walking to school together, talking laughing. She slumped her shoulders and hung her head. No one came to walk with May. May cheered up at the sight of the school building. She skipped to the doors and waited for the bell. Clouds covered the sun like a cloak, but May didn’t notice. The bell rang and May hurried to her classroom and sat at her desk in the front of the room. May raised her hand. “Ms.Smarty,” she asked, then stopped short. The figure in the front of the room turned and May gasped.
The lady was not Ms. Smarty. The deep creases in her face, the staring black eyes, the furrowed eyebrows, the hooked nose, the tight gray bun at the top of her head, all were never part of Ms.Smarty. “Carcass Vulture,” croaked the woman in a cruel, shrill, shriveled voice. “That’s Ms. Vulture to you,” she wrote her name on the whiteboard, the marker squeaking as if it were in discomfort, a deep blood red. May shivered. She could tell that Ms.Vulture would be nothing like Ms. Smarty. Ms.Vulture was like a storm cloud. She brought gloomy despair to everyone in the class. People who walked in got a sudden chill and knew that something was not as it should be. Whispers whistled through the room like wind. “Who is she?” one burly boy named Mitchell asked. “Where’s Ms. Smarty?” a tall girl cried named Hannah. Ms.Vulture stared her beady black eyes at all the students and the room became hushed. Students were even afraid to breathe. You could hear a pin drop in that classroom. The girl sitting next to May named Talia, whimpered in her ear. “How will we learn anything without Ms. Smarty?” she asked. “I don’t know, but this teacher looks like trouble so we should be on our best behavior,” May whisper replied. “Ah ha!” screeched Ms.Vulture,”You broke the rules! No talking in class! I just knew you were going to be trouble as soon as you walked in! Sit in the back of the room so I don’t have to look at your dirty face!” May, her face red with anger, her fists clenched, carried her stuff to the back of the room and slouched down in her seat. She felt the eyes of her classmates boring into her and she scooted down lower in her seat in shame. She never got in trouble. NEVER! She was Ms.Smarty’s best student. Her pride had withered from evil Ms.Vulture and May longed for Ms.Smarty. Ms.Vulture started math, her sharp voice cutting across May’s ears like a whip. Through her tears, the numbers danced and blurred. May blinked. Wait a minute. Her eyes weren’t wet. She squinted up at the board again. The numbers squished together, a bunch of meaningless chicken scratches. “You, there in the back,” Ms. Vulture snapped interrupting May’s thinking, “What’s the answer to the question on the board?” “III don’t know. I can’t see” May stuttered but was interrupted by Ms.Vulture screeching, “How dare you talk back to the teacher! Watch your manners little girl! Go to the principal's office!” she pointed to the door, her bony finger trembling. May, her hands trembling and heart throbbing in anger, stood up shaking. She would not let an old evil witch have the satisfaction of seeing her cry. Suddenly, the door burst open! A ray of sunshine flew in from the open door and everyone took a deep breath of cool, clean, air. Ms.Smarty rushed into the room and and paused by the doorway. “Sorry I’m late,” exclaimed a flustered Ms.Smarty, “I had to go to a meeting but I couldn’t wait to get back to you wonderful kids!” She smiled back at all the beaming young faces around her.
“Ahem, excuse me Ms.Smarty but I am in the middle of teaching a lesson so if you’ll let us finish,” the kids faces fell faster than greased lightning. Ms.Smarty looked at the kids’ gloomy faces to Ms.Vulture’s gleeful one. Something seemed to click into place as Ms.Smarty looked at them all. “I see,” she breathed, then with one last look added louder, “Ms.Vulture, can I speak to you in the hall for a moment?” Ms.Vulture looked like she wanted to object then Ms.Smarty looked at her and ordered, “That is not a question,” Ms.Vulture reluctantly followed Ms.Smarty out the door.The class leaned forwards in their seats to hear better and heard Ms.Smarty’s calm voice rumbling outside the door and then heard Ms.Vulture blast, “Your class is a miserable, misbehaving bunch of mud balls! Especially that girl May!” Ms.Smarty rumbled something in response and the class heard Ms.Vulture’s footsteps retreat down the hall. Ms. Smarty walked into the classroom and smiled at everyone. “Ms.Vulture won’t be subbing here anytime soon, in fact, never!” The class let out a big cheer. May could have hugged Ms.Smarty and she did. Right in front of the whole class. She didn’t care about that anymore. “The class is dismissed for recess,” Ms.Smarty stated, “but May, please stay here. I want to talk to you.” The class left for the playground, shooting May curious glances on the way out. “May, Ms.Vulture was a meanie beanie hostile person and it wasn’t right for her to say those things to you,” May nodded and Ms.Smarty continued, “I’m glad that you know that because it’s not fair to treat a student that way. Is there anything else you want to tell me?” May shook her head. “Okay, you can bring your stuff back to your desk while I go outside and make sure that the other students don’t kill each other. Bye,” Ms.Smarty left the room leaving May alone. May didn’t want to tell Ms.Smarty about the blurry letters. It was probably nothing, May told herself. I’m probably just tired, but May couldn’t help but think that that wasn’t it. She shook it off and started thinking of other things. May felt like the luckiest person in the world to have a teacher like Ms.Smarty.
When May got home that day, she sprinted up to her room to think. What should she do about her blurry vision. May weighed the options and outcomes and finally decided. She went downstairs with her decision. “Mom,” May asked shyly. She crept into the room careful not to make a sound. Even at home May was super shy and that was one of the reasons why she didn’t have any friends. “In the office,” May’s mom replied. May slowly trudged to her mom’s voice dreading what would come next. “Mom,” May mumbled in a feeble voice, “I want to talk to you about something.” “Okay honey but make it quick,” came mom’s distracted voice as she was typing an important email. May took a deep breath and let it all spill out. She told her mom everything about the day, especially her bad vision. Her mom nodded, still with her eyes on the screen. May slunk away. Why did she think her mom, who only had eyes for her computer, would ever listen to her? Then, her mom spoke. “I think it’s about time you went to the eye doctor,” she stated calmly. When May came home, she plopped onto her bed and buried her face in her covers. The trip to the eye doctor was too painful to think about. The searing pain, the sun bright light, May shivered. She hoped she never had to go through that again. That night, May tossed and turned. She didn’t know if she had done the right thing by telling her mom. She guessed she would find out soon enough. In the morning, May woke and found a wrapped parcel at the foot of her bed. She tore off the paper and a package fell into her lap. The word Contacts flashed across the top. May groaned. She had seen her mom put in and take out contacts. May felt queasy at the thought of almost touching her eye. She was very sensitive and was grossed out easily. She trudged to the bathroom to put them on. On the way to school, May bumped into everything in her path. In the classroom, she stood at the back of the room to see if she could see the board. All she saw was a blurry blob of a board. The glasses were hindering more than they were helping. When May got home, she didn’t want to tell her mom about the contacts because she didn’t want to hurt her feelings. May planned a safe way to get rid of the contacts. Hopefully, the experiment would work and the risk would be worth taking.
May found her mom in the kitchen. She snuck in and made sure her mom was occupied by her coffee and email. Then, she popped out her contacts wincing. Careful not to make a sound, May dropped her contacts on the hard wooden floor. She then exclaimed, “Oh mom! I can’t find my contacts! They fell out of my eyes and I can’t see! If only they were bigger like glasses which work a lot better! If only!” “Don’t be silly May. They’re right over there by your feet,” May’s mom pointed out. “Where by my feet?” May cried “accidentally” stomping on them and crushing them beneath her feet. Mom looked livid. “Miss May Morgala Manyton! Those things cost a lot! I will have to use your allowance to pay for them as a punishment!” shouted Mom. “You will be wearing your new contacts by Friday and you better like them!” May ran up to her room, slammed the door, and burrowed down in her covers. Not only was she destined to wear contacts for the rest of her life and never have glasses, now she was broke! May had been saving every penny of her allowance to buy Ms. Smarty a special birthday present. Now she would have nothing to give her in 3 days! Suddenly, May sat up. Of course! She could ask Ms.Smarty! May got ready for a long night, waiting for school in the morning.
After class the next day, May lingered behind. Ms.Smarty emerged from behind her desk. “Hey May. What’s wrong?” Ms.Smarty asked, looking concerned. Then May told her everything, how she had blurry vision, how her mom got her contacts, and how wrong she was not to tell her sooner. Ms.Smarty nodded, then wrapped May in a big hug. Then, May knew that everything was going to be all right. When May got home that day, she took Ms.Smarty’s advice. She could almost see Ms.Smarty encouraging her from wherever she was. She also could feel Ms.Smarty in her heart, always her love would be with her. May took a deep breath and plunged into the kitchen where her mom was. May looked down at her shoes. She shuffled her feet. Her heart was beating so fast, it was like she had just ran a mile. May stumbled forwards then stopped. She looked at the square tiles on the floor. She wanted to disappear into the cracks. What she had to do next would take lots of courage. Maybe even more than what she had. Then she remembered Ms.Smarty's smiling face and knew that she would always be there for her. May took one big, last calming breath, then whispered, “Mom.” “Hmmm,” her mom asked. “Mom,” May repeated stronger now, “I don’t like those stupid contacts. They don’t make me see better and they’re really annoying. Please can you get me glasses?” May’s mom suddenly looked like she would burst into tears any moment. “Oh May!” she cried, “I was so wrong to force you to have contacts! I liked them so I just assumed you would like them! I should have asked you! I was a terrible mom!” May didn’t say anything. No words were needed. They embraced for a long time, May never wanted to let go. “I love you,” mom told May. “I love you too,” May whispered. On Ms.Smarty’s birthday, the class sang and laughed and danced. When the class left for recess, May was left alone in the room with Ms.Smarty. It was a picture with these words on the top, “To Ms.Smarty, a supportive teacher who gave a little girl hope. Who taught her, although the right thing to do may seem blurry, with a good friend, the truth always becomes clear.”