Mr. Adams was our seventh-grade woodshop teacher. He lived on the hill with his wife and two kids. He had a false eye and once showed us a video of himself riding a homemade hovercraft on the high school soccer field. He had a soft spot for girls and would always ask if they could help him clean up the classroom. Many did and asked for extra credit, and he gave it.
A guidance counsellor walked into our class after Christmas break and didn’t say anything about what happened to Mr. Adams. It’s not like he had to. Facebook was new, and everyone had already seen and shared the post. It happened the week before Christmas. At least that’s what people said. None of us were there. Most of us only saw his mugshot on the county bookings website and made up our own versions of what happened. Apparently, Mr. Adams had been looking into people’s windows and videotaping them naked. Or having sex. Or maybe it was little girls in their bathrooms. The only foundation validating the rumors was one word: voyeurism. I didn’t know the definition. My parents said a voyeur was a Peeping Tom. I imagined Mr. Adams climbing into a tree like George McFly and spying on someone with binoculars. Why would anyone do that?
When I came home, I got on Facebook, combed through the posts about Mr. Adams, and read all the comments. My crush commented on one of them. She said he was a pervert sicko and looked at her bare back when she bent to pick up trash in class. I clicked on her profile. We were friends, but we’d never talked and never would. I looked at all her pictures, framed in tiles on my screen. I could see everything.
I Wanted to Scare You
I wanted to scare you, so I crawled under the covers last night while you were brushing your teeth. I wanted revenge for the time when you called me saying you were an hour away and told me to go outside and look at how big the moon was, and you were at the door the whole time waiting for me. And for when you stood on the ledge at Flaming Gorge overlooking the Green River. I was afraid not because I didn’t trust you but because I felt helpless to the seeming inevitability that you’d fall and there would be nothing I could do.
And still, I wanted to scare you.
So I drenched myself in darkness and waited. I kept my eyes open, staring at the inside of our sheets. It was quiet and black. I began to wonder what it would be like to die and know I was dead. To sit there waiting for someone to pull the covers away so I could see and live again. To lie still at someone else’s mercy under a white sheet waiting. I thought about magicians and physicians. How regardless of disparate accreditations, both make people disappear under white sheets. How when the sheet flies away, all that’s left is a memory. How ‘Abracadabra’ and ‘I’m sorry to inform you’ are synonymous. Both induce shock and cause everyone to look everywhere for the missing person.
I wanted to scare you. But, as I hid under a cloak of bedding, I hoped for the moment when you’d pull away the darkness and find me, bring me back into the light. The shock of discovery would bleed into a smile. But until that moment, I pretended like I wasn’t scared of getting lost in the dark with nowhere to go.