Places Where the Biology Teacher and the Janitor Have Made Out:
A list complied by Sheila, Tina, and Amy, Fourth Period Biology
On top of the lab tables in the biology room after we dissected flowers.
We have Ms. Ferris fourth period for biology. She wears bright sweaters with beads sewn on them and long flowing skirts and embroidered blouses she says were made in India (Amy asked her). Ms. Ferris talks like us, says “awesome” and “cool” and “that really sucks.” She even swore in class once when she dropped a beaker full of alcohol on the floor.
“Oh f*ck,” she said when the glass shattered, then she put her hand over her mouth.
All of us gaped.
She took her hand off her mouth and said, “None of you heard that, right?”
We kept gaping as she called Dale to come clean up the mess.
That was when we decided she was really cool. Ms. Ferris has a free period after our class, and in October we noticed Dale hanging around the door when we left. Dale never told us his name, but it’s sewn on his green janitor shirts. He started working at school in September.
“You’re here a lot when we get out of class,” Sheila said to him because she’s the sort of person who does that.
“I help Ms. Ferris move tables and clean things up,” he said and shrugged.
Since Ms. Ferris looks like she could move tables herself, this made us think something was up. That day we’d been dissecting flowers. We were supposed to look for flower sex organs and learn how plant life could evolve into animal life. The stuff in the flowers looked nothing like the diagrams in our books, however, so we only got confused.
The interesting part came after lunch when Amy saw Ms. Ferris and Dale with petals on their rears.
“Bright pink ones on their asses,” she said.
This could only mean one thing. They had been making out on the biology tables and rolling around on those flower bits. We were surprised, but it was an important discovery. That was the day Sheila started listing their encounters in the back of her algebra notebook. We figured it would be an educational experience, since we could learn something about real adults relationships. All of the guys in our class either have girlfriends or are jerks (and even some of the jerks have girlfriends) so we don’t bother messing with them. We also know that high school relationships go nowhere. Our mothers told us.
The girl’s locker room after school.
Tina has gym last period and was halfway home before she realized she forgot her watch. When she got back to school the locker room door wouldn’t open. She went to look for Dale and couldn’t find him in the janitor’s office, so she walked back to the girls’ locker room and saw Dale and Ms. Ferris together in the hallway. She didn’t think about it then, but when she tried the locker room door again it was open.
“They must have been in there together,” she says to us later.
We figure Dale has keys to the locker room so maybe it was his idea, but Ms. Ferris must know he has the keys, so maybe it was her idea. If they were making out in the girls’ locker room they must have been pretty desperate because it doesn’t smell great. The thought makes us excited and disgusted. You really have to need some to make out in a smelly place.
Ms. Ferris has glasses and Dale doesn’t, so we think she doesn’t take the glasses off when they kiss. Sheila says it’s sexier if you take glasses off, but Tina gets defensive because she has glasses and she says there’s nothing wrong with glasses. Glasses can be sexy in the right situation.
“If you’re kissing a guy with glasses they’ll clink together,” says Sheila
“Then you take them off,” says Tina. “But it’s not automatic thing.”
“You’d look better with contacts,” says Sheila.
“Just shut up,” says Tina.
We think Ms. Ferris is pretty with glasses, though we disagree about whether she’d be prettier without them. We know she’s divorced because she was Mrs. Giraldi last June and when she came back to school in September she was Ms. Ferris. Sheila’s parents are divorced. Amy thinks hers should be.
We don’t know if Ms. Ferris left her husband or if he left her. Dale started working at the high school this fall. Sheila says maybe Dale was in love with Ms. Ferris already and came to work at the high school to be closer to her.
“I don’t think it’s true,” says Amy.
“It makes for a better story,” Sheila says, adding the idea to her notebook because she says we can’t rule out the possibility.
In the janitor’s closet.
We don’t have real evidence of this one, but we figure they must have done it. It’s too easy not to. Ms. Ferris and Dale should have flings. We think something like this will happen to us when we’re older. We’ll meet someone in college or at work and make out with him in closets. It has to be more fun like that because there’s always the worry you might get caught.
We go to Sheila’s in the evening to babysit. Sheila’s mom dates all different guys and sometimes they have kids and Sheila has to watch them, but all three of us do because her mom buys extra junk food and rents good movies. Three of us can also terrorize two or three kids into behaving, except for the one brat who dumps his root beer on the floor. Sheila smacks his rear, then we all get paper towels.
“I am not having kids,” Sheila says.
We think Ms. Ferris and Dale should have kids, though, because they are both nice-looking and Ms. Ferris is really smart and seems like she’d be a good mother.
At school a few senior girls are starting to show, and a couple junior girls, and even one or two other sophomores. It’s scary because we can’t imagine ourselves with a kid.
“It was bad enough carrying around that stupid egg baby for health class,” says Tina.
When Sheila’s mom gets back from her date and sends her boyfriend and his kids home, she eats cookies and chips with us and lectures how we should never get married.
“Don’t tie yourselves to one man,” she says. “It never works. Date a bunch of guys and have fun.”
After a while she leaves us alone with our junk food and our movies and tell us not to toilet paper any trees.
Sheila is embarrassed of her mom.
“She’s loose,” says Sheila.
The rest of us think her mom is cool because she talks to us like we’re twenty years old and the guys she dates are cute.
“They only want one thing,” says Sheila. “They’re no better than the guys we know.”
All the girls who have boyfriends talk about who’s going with who and who gave a promise ring to who and when they’re going to get married and what the wedding dress is going to look like. It’s dumb. We’re fifteen and it’s not like the hundred-something guys in our school are the only ones in the world.
“A waste of time to try and hook up with some stupid boy now,” says Sheila.
We all nod agreement. It’s not that we hate all the boys our age, but we don’t trust them. At lunch too many guys brag about where they’ve done it with their girlfriends. We eavesdrop on them and Sheila takes notes on which guys are the creepiest jerks. They don’t know how to be sweet or romantic or anything, they just want to feel you up or stick a hand down your pants. This is why none of us have a boyfriend. This is not to say we’d never have a boyfriend, it just can’t be anyone we know.
“Who’d want to make out behind the bleachers?” says Amy. “You’d just get grass stains on your butt or gravel in your underwear.”
She says that after class she saw Ms. Ferris smile at Dale and pucker her lips and do something very much like blowing a kiss at him. This is what we’re waiting for.
The biology greenhouse.
Amy and Tina were riding their bikes across the street from school around four in the afternoon and saw Ms. Ferris and Dale in the greenhouse, hugging. They couldn’t see really clearly, but the hug looked close, tight, the kind we see in movies right before people move on to other things. By the time Amy and Tina crossed the street and the schoolyard and crept next to the greenhouse, Ms. Ferris and Dale were gone. Probably making out in the biology room supply closet. It was disappointing not to see them closer, though sometimes we worry about catching them in a moment that is too personal. We don’t know how far they would go at school and worry they might not be taking enough precautions. If we know about their relationship, who else might find out? What could the principal do if he discovered them making out in a classroom or closet?
“Maybe they could get fired,” says Amy
“I don’t think they do that if you’re making out with another employee,” says Sheila. “The principal probably just tells you to quit it and get a room.”
“But there would have to be some consequence,” says Tina. “It’s not very professional to make out in your classroom.”
“I’d rather make out in a biology classroom than dissect frogs in one,” says Sheila as she writes the greenhouse incident in the back of her algebra notebook.
We know it’s a risk to keep track of this stuff, but after Ms. Ferris and Dale get married, it will be something we can look back on and say we knew it all along.
In the snack bar beside the cafeteria.
Amy says she saw Dale in the morning with a package of Skittles and another one of cream-filled cupcakes. When we walk into fourth-period biology, they are on Ms. Ferris’s desk.
“That doesn’t prove they made out in the snack bar,” says Tina. “That means he brought her candy.”
“But he has keys to the snack bar and they could make out there anyway,” says Sheila. She says making out in the snack bar should be in the notebook whether or not it actually happened, because it would be a cool place to make out with a guy.
“But this is supposed to be a list of where they really made out,” says Tina.
“They’ve made out everywhere else,” says Sheila, “so why not the snack bar? That would be so awesome. You could eat a lot of junk afterwards.”
“I thought the list was supposed to be based on facts,” says Tina, “stuff we really saw.”
Sheila writes snack bar down in the notebook and gives Tina half of a chocolate bar at lunch. Tina’s mom never gives her sweet stuff, too worried over her waistline, so Tina forgives Sheila pretty easily. Tina has a little baby fat, but we agree it makes her look cute.
We spend the night at Amy’s house. Things are weird there. Her parents have been married for twenty years, and on Friday nights they sit in front of the TV with a bowl of popcorn and don’t talk. Amy has her own TV in her room, and when we get bored of movies we listen at the top of the stairs to hear if her parents are doing anything on the couch. All we hear is the movie, and it’s never turned on very loud.
In the band room closet where they keep the marching band instruments
Amy had to go back to the band room after seventh period to get her music folder, and she swears she heard Ms. Ferris and Dale in the little closet where they keep the brass instruments.
“She said his name,” Amy says.
“Did she say his name or did she moan his name?” says Sheila.
“What’s the difference?” says Amy.
“Moaning is sexier,” says Sheila.
“Maybe there was a little moan, but not a big one,” says Amy. “I couldn’t stay very long. I didn’t want them to find me.”
“That was dumb,” says Sheila, “you should have watched for them to come out.”
“It would have been embarrassing,” says Amy. “What if they had their clothes off?”
“They would have put their clothes back on before they came out of the instrument closet,” says Sheila as she writes the incident in her notebook. “You didn’t have to peek at them while they were in there.”
“I didn’t want them to know I heard,” says Amy.
“I would have stayed,” Sheila mutters.
“I got up one night to use the bathroom,” says Tina, “and I heard sounds coming from my parents’ bedroom. They were doing it.”
“That’s gross,” says Sheila.
“It’s sweet,” says Amy, “I wish my parents did that.”
“That’s also gross,” says Sheila.
“But your mom does it with hot guys,” says Amy.
“My mom is loose,” says Sheila, “and you got embarrassed to hear Ms. Ferris and Dale making out. They probably weren’t even doing it.”
“I didn’t say I wanted to hear my mom and dad doing it,” says Amy, “I just think it would be better than eating popcorn.”
“The thought of any of our parents doing it is gross,” says Sheila.
“You won’t think that when you’re fifty,” says Tina who is always talking about stuff that will happen thirty-five years from now.
Snack Bar II (Possible Confirmation)
After school Amy sees Ms. Ferris and Dale coming out of the snack bar, Dale locking the door, and Ms. Ferris thanking Dale for his help.
“Both of them had messed-up hair,” Amy says to Sheila as they walk downtown.
“Did they have any candy?” says Sheila.
“I didn’t see any,” says Amy, “but it could have been in their pockets.”
Tina has had a boyfriend for two weeks. The other two of us are mad because none of us were supposed to have one, and now all Tina does is get coffee with him after school and play Scrabble and chess. We only see her in biology and at lunch.
“He doesn’t want to, you know,” Tina says to us at the coffee shop while he’s in the bathroom.
“That doesn’t matter,” says Sheila. “None of us were supposed to have a boyfriend. We agreed on that.”
“I don’t remember signing anything,” says Tina. “We don’t do much, just play chess and go to Dairy Queen. He’s only kissed me twice and he’s not very good at it.”
“How would you know?” says Sheila.
“I know it’s supposed to be better than he does it,” says Tina.
“You’re still a traitor,” says Sheila.
“It’s not like we’re necking in closets,” says Tina. “We play chess.”
“A geeky traitor,” says Sheila.
“Quit being jealous,” says Tina.
“I’m not,” says Sheila.
“You guys can sit with us,” says Tina.
“We’re leaving,” says Sheila.
Amy pauses for a moment by the table, but then follows Sheila.
Now there are just two of us watching Ms. Ferris and Dale. We agree it’s more interesting and instructive than having a boyfriend.
“But he buys Tina ice cream,” Amy says after school.
“I’ll buy you ice cream,” says Sheila.
“That’s not the point,” says Amy.
“Do you want ice cream or not?” says Sheila.
At Dairy Queen it’s too crowded. Girl and guy couples cuddle in booths. No Ms. Ferris and Dale. That would be too easy. We have to seek them out. Without Tina. The traitor.
Ms. Ferris’s Car
Again we don’t have direct evidence of this, but it’s only logical since we know what her car looks like and it has a bench seat in front so it would be easy to make out there after a date.
“I’m sure my mom has made out in her car a lot,” says Sheila.
We’re sitting in the coffee shop watching Tina and her boyfriend across the room. They’re playing chess. It’s kind of boring.
“I’m sure I saw the outline of a condom in Dale’s pocket today,” says Sheila.
“Really?” says Amy.
“It looked like those little square packets my mom has in her underwear drawer,” says Sheila.
“Wow,” says Amy.
We watch Tina and her boyfriend. It’s still boring.
“This is going to be harder with just two of us,” says Amy. “Why can’t we let Tina keep watching, too? She still wants to eat lunch with us. We can talk then.”
“She’ll dump him or he’ll dump her soon enough,” says Sheila. “We can wait.”
“Why do we have to?” says Amy.
“We had a no-boyfriend agreement,” says Sheila.
“I think she just beat him at chess,” says Amy.
“Guys are so dumb,” says Sheila.
“What if they stop going out?” says Amy.
“They will soon,” says Sheila, “I told you that.”
“I mean Ms. Ferris and Dale,” says Amy.
“They won’t,” says Sheila. “That’s for real.”