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In my school, the strictest teacher was Nina Mikhailovna – our klasnukha, who taught Russian language and literature. As soon as she entered the classroom, everyone, even the most recent blockheads, like me, died at their desks. It is better to greet the teacher than to listen to her taunts under the laughter of the other guys for the next five minutes. “What are you, you can't lift your ass? Heavy too? So go to the toilet, relieve a little bit. " We are not sons, but after such jokes the nicknames are stuck, nobody wanted to be substituted. Compete in wit with an adult woman who had been engaged in exactly that for thirty years, which reasoned the overblown sheaves, is also not a good idea. But one day I still broke her lesson.
Nina Mikhailovna lived in my yard. I often saw her with her husband, and this was not at all the person whom everyone used to see at school. Fluttering around her husband, like a bird, sang in a thin voice: Peteka then, Petechka. In the ninth grade – it seems, March was or April – Nina Mikhailovna suddenly went to the hospital, and she was replaced by a new teacher, a young and much less experienced in terms of working with discipline. Oh, we outdid there. They didn’t do anything really terrible, but they interrupted her every now and then, shouted jokes and bellowed like crazy. This poor girl tried to save face, but she couldn’t do anything, she didn’t even complain to the director – she probably thought that our authority would work that way. They say about people like this teacher: stick a finger at her, she will fall down. So, in fact, we managed the lessons.
After a couple of weeks, the lafa ended – Nina Mikhailovna returned. Returned some lost, worn. We did not at first attach any special significance to this, but soon we began to notice that she no longer reacted so strongly to our antics. The guys even began, as they say, to roll test balloons: otbebuchivali something like that and waited for the dressing. Nina Mikhailovna reprimanded us, but somehow sluggishly, without the past hitch. We, of course, grew bolder.
In May, just before the end of the school year, I chatted with a classmate during a literature lesson. Nina Mikhailovna heard us and made a remark. I lied that we didn’t just rattle, but we were discussing some important things – I don’t even remember which ones. Nina Mikhailovna, of course, was not convinced, and she continued to pronounce me, and I bickered. Word for word, and the degree of conversation somehow quietly rose, and the guys picked up, began to make noise, pour jokes and laugh. Nina Mikhailovna almost screamed what she usually didn’t have to do, and I stood my ground. In the end, she said that I had better shut up now.
– Otherwise what? – I asked with a grin. – Will you complain to your husband?
Nina Mikhailovna flinched. She sat down on a chair, lowered her head and covered her face with her hands. Everyone fell silent. A few seconds later, Nina Mikhailovna looked at me, and her eyes were crying.
“Well, you bastard,” she said, and left the classroom.
There was silence in the office. Probably, no one believed before that it would be possible to bring such a cool to a black-haired girl. Only Valera Kurguzov said:
– Something, in my opinion, bust.
Everyone was waiting for Nina Mikhailovna to return with the director, but, to her credit, she did not go to complain to him, and we sat until the end of the lesson. And in the evening, when I was already at home, my parents entered my room.
“Hey, fool,” began the papa, and his tone did not foretell anything good. – What have you done at school today?
Mom asked him to calm down and explained that she had met Nina Mikhailovna in the yard, frustrated and depressed, and she told in general terms that her students were completely unbelted, and the worst among them was me. By the look of dad it was clear that you should not deny it, and I honestly told you about what happened during the day.
– I admit, I overdone a little, but she is also good. And then, why am I the worst? Well, I joked once, who does not happen. Estimates I have in order.
Dad just shook his head.
– Well, you and the ram.
Mother again had to calm him down, and then she asked if I knew that Nina Mikhailovna had recently had an unpleasant event in her family. I honestly answered no. The parents explained that a couple of months ago – just before our klassnukha left for the hospital – her husband left her. Gone to the young mistress, as my dad put it, sbrendil under the old sraku. Her parents scolded her a little, so to speak, explained to me that there is bad and that there is good.
Before the next classes I approached Nina Mikhailovna to apologize. In response, she only looked at me as if nothing had happened and advised me to take my place, because the lesson is about to begin. It was clear that apologies were not accepted, but I thought that I had done my job, and the rest was not my problem. On offended carry water, as they say.
However, it became me when Nina Mikhailovna finally came to her senses after the divorce and, as before, began to offend the screamers and hooligans. If I was crazy, she just looked at me coldly, waiting for my stock of jokes to dry up, and under this look, I confess, the mood to clown somehow evaporated. No, she didn’t press me on the subject, didn’t reduce her assessments, didn’t demand anything beyond measure, but still. Even classmates have noticed that she has a special attitude towards me – and not that good, far from good – attitude. Once I checked it out. At the beginning of one of the lessons I did not get up to greet the teacher. As I have already said, usually Nina Mikhailovna would have smashed anyone for such cases, but this time she only looked at the class, only glancing at me, and said:
– The lesson has begun. Sit down.
Like this. Full ignore. And it lasted the next two years. I tried to return my former attitude to success in my studies, but no matter how hard I tried, all to no avail. Nina Mikhailovna put me five for another essay or task at the blackboard, on which I volunteered – every time I didn’t tear off my hand a little – but nothing more. Only chill this. I remember it now and think how silly it is to hold a grudge against a teenager. On the other hand, it was not worth it, perhaps, to put pressure on her at an already difficult moment. I did not know, of course, that she was experiencing personal drama, but does it really take any particular reason to treat people like a human being and behave politely? Then I, too, was angry with her, but for the most part I came to terms with the way I looked in her eyes.
In the second half of the last academic year, Nina Mikhailovna became ill again – now for real. On this day, she was replaced by the same teacher as a couple of years ago. Since then, she has gained a little bit of experience, but we, too, developed our skills on the part of pranks and multiplied them, which, of course, is not a reason for pride – after all, they will soon receive a certificate and study at the institute, and we all played the fool. Seriously, there was no lesson in the office, but it was as if the beasts had captured the zoo. Noise, din, laughter, hooting. It was possible to think about whether this young teacher deals with life. As far as I know, the children from the lower grades adored her, but we, teenagers who were younger than her at all — nothing — ten years old — felt weak in her. Only I did not participate in bedlam. I looked at this girl and remembered: stick it with such a finger, they will fall down. It seems she fell out. Probably, she did not feel too comfortable last time, but only now it was noticeable to me. I got up from my seat and with a loud voice asked everyone to shut up. Valera Kurguzov began to tease me – they say, if I had not fallen in love for an hour with the teacher, since I stood up for her so eagerly. Word for word, and came to a fight. Again I broke the lesson. Well at least the director did not call. Lord, how much this man did not know about what is happening at school.
A couple of days before the next literature class, I sat in the classroom and, shining with a bruise under my eye, looked for a pen in my backpack. Kurguzov flaunted the same on the other row, but I was too keen on searching to see him, just like the other guys. I did not even hear, when everyone suddenly abruptly rose from their seats. Then came the voice of Nina Mikhailovna.
– What is lost there? The book for young gentlemen, which your grandmother did not give you a birthday present? By the way, you have not reached the chapter where it is written that you need to get up when the teacher enters the classroom?
The office suffered laughter. "Young gentleman, ha ha, hee hee." Yes, I myself, to be honest, smiled. Nina Mikhailovna, meanwhile, continued:
– Well, at least I had time to read about the fact that I had to stand up for the ladies. Okay. Sit down all. And you, knight, too.
Laughing again. "Knight, knight." Nina Mikhailovna laid out the things on the table and went to the blackboard, but suddenly turned around, looked at me and said with a smile:
– And you, it turns out, not such a bastard.
From this moment I was forgiven. Remaining several months before graduation, I fell under criticism of Nina Mikhailovna a couple of times. However, in these moments it was also a shame, and … well, you know. She was funny, this Nina Mikhailovna. Yes, strict, but she knew how to joke and say a good word in time. Take at least this case: not such a bastard. I agree, a compliment is so-so. But with him, I go through life as if with a motto.
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