Skip Day By Christine Swiderski

Skipping school was special because it was wrong and there was an element of danger involved, ‘you might get caught’.  Two of my girlfriends had convinced me to skip school on Friday. They both wanted to go shopping. I told them I could not go this week but I will go next Friday. I needed to put a few bucks away to make this event truly eventful. Since I was the only one with transportation they agreed to wait a week. I know, to most going to the mall seems tame compared to other things you could do on a free day like get someone to buy alcohol for you, or go to Canada and see what adventures await. I live in Michigan, there are many ways to get there. I do not think we could pass for 21 or else we would go to a casino. Shopping was the only choice at this point.

I picked up Mildred first, mainly because Sharon can be flaky when it comes to being on time. I hate having to wait for people and as I said Sharon can be flaky. I was surprised when we pulled up in front of her house she was outside waiting for us. As soon as she got in I said: “Sharon this is a special surprise having you waiting for us outside instead of making us wait for you.”

“I have been looking forward to this all week. I already called in sick. The school called back and I was a convincing version of my mother. I did not want to press my luck. That is why I decided to wait outside just in case another call came in.” Sharon said.

“Good thinking, I figured I would bring a note from home tomorrow. I have a note that I saved from a month ago when I told my mom I was sick, she took my temperature and agreed that I should stay home. I held something warm in my mouth just long enough to give me a temp. I told her to write the note at that moment before she forgot because I will need it for the next day. After she left I went to school. It was a half day so I was home before she came home.” Mildred said.

“You guys are brilliant! I did call in and spoke as myself told the receptionist to put me down absent that I would bring a note the Monday. I have the weekend to figure out something.” I said

I checked to make sure we had enough fuel I did not want to spend any time on the side of the road because we ran out of gas. We arrived at the mall to find it nearly empty. I expected more people being that it was Friday. The floors were so polished they looked slippery.

First stop was for a specialty coffee. Next window shopping so we can decide what store we wanted to spend time in. There were seasonal sales and we wanted to take advantage of the one that was the most promising.  We slowly walked the mall with our coffees voicing the pros and cons of each store. Finally, we decided on J.C. Penny. As we approached the store, men with flak jackets and guns came storming through the doors, one grabbed me and Mildred another grabbed Sharon. I started to protest the man said: “You need to leave the mall immediately there has been a bomb threat, and someone is in the mall armed with hostages.”

We were ushered out in front of TV cameras. Microphones were shoved in our faces asking if we saw the guy with the gun. Also asking if we knew how many hostages were taken.

We were so frightened that it did not occur to us till we were on our way home that our skip day was just broadcast live and no one would believe whatever phone call or note we could possibly bring in.

I was pissed, at the end of the day, the whole thing was a hoax.