I was twelve years old when Ms. McGee came to our grade school to teach. I loved her from the first day, and it was a joy just to sit in her classroom and breathe the air.
And that year, for some strange and convoluted reason, the school administration decided that all of the seventh grade boys needed to have a creative writing class. Not just writing, mind you, but creative writing. And not the girls, mind you, but just the boys. And Ms. McGee was to be our teacher.
She changed my life.
Now, I don't remember all that I wrote for that class, but I do remember wanting to go to school, and sit next to Ms. McGee, and write beautiful stories for her. And I did. I wrote before I went to school. I wrote during my other classes (by hiding notebook paper inside my books). I wrote after school, and on weekends, and late, late, late into the night some evenings. That writing class lit a deep fire in me that has never been extinguished, a fire that no one has been able to quench, a fire that . . . oh, hell, I just like to write . . . .
And me? By golly, I received an A on every paper. Ms. McGee would hand me those papers smelling of sweet perfume, flashing me a smile . . . and I adored her. And yes, somewhere deep down in that never-before-spoken place in my life, I do believe she loved me, too. I could have married her. I could have had her. She could have been mine . . . . Well, but I digress.
Suffice it to say--that little writing class changed my life.
NOTE: I didn't know how this story ended until about seven years ago. I was talking to my mother about Ms. McGee, wondering where my old teacher was, secretly wondering if we might even hook up again on eHarmony, and my mother told me that she recalled receiving a phone call from Ms. McGee one evening when I was in the seventh grade. Ms. McGee evidently had called to tell my mother, "Your son has a gift for words, Mrs. Outcalt. He seems like he enjoys writing. If I were you, I'd encourage him to do something with it. And by the way, keep him away from me. That tall skinny geek gives me the creeps!"