Rick Lime was always somewhat thought of as a joke. The children chide him of, the one free thing there is in life. The thing you have before you speak, the name attached to your soul, the identity you’ve always known.
School is a place for learning, and desire in Rick was always burning, yet his passion became stung, when his favorite teacher was hit by a truck and in her place came forth a brand new face. The substitute did not know the children’s names, so roll call he performed each day. In symmetry he spoke the names, moving front to back, alphabetically imposed, there stood Rick, in the middle of the K’s and O’s as there were no children with names of M’s or N’s.
Johnson, “Here”, Porter, “Here”, Killian and Oliver likewise affirmed, and then came Rick’s fateful turn. The teacher chuckled, as he spoke, the other kids had no clue, but politely laughed, seemingly on cue. Limerick the teacher spoke, affirming to all, that this child was a joke. Rick did not answer as he was steamed, that a teacher would take part in such a scheme. He kept quiet until it was repeat, Lime…Rick, but fast enough to sound again like limerick. After the children’s laughter subsided, the teacher’s did as well. He looked around until little Ricky spoke up. “ I am here, but a correction I must make.” Ricky shaking, trembling fierce, as the teacher’s funny face disappeared. “ While you are new and do not know, my name is Lime, like the citrus fruit, not Limb like a foot or hand, so I’m sure you can understand that the pun you’ve made, I don’t see as grand, to which I most persistently disagree, demanding a retraction by thee” Ricky quivered, as he waited for the teacher to finish up the cruelty of the pause.
Seconds felt like hours for this little boy, ending only when the substitute said, “I’m sorry, I had no intent to cause you shame, I did not mean to ridicule your name,” yet seconds later he spoke again. “ Lime, Richard is your name, but Richard is a grown up name and you dear child are but a boy, so, from this point forward you shall be referred to by me, Lime…”
Before the nick of name could depart his mouth, an eruption of jeers consumed them all, from the student in the way behind, to the classmates sitting first in line. For much time this laughter did persist, with only the bell spoiling the classroom tryst.
Single file flowed the pupils, where not a dry eye could be saved. Tears of laughter for all but one, whose eyes were damp from jokes a teacher spun.