Smell it

*This was originally posted on my other blog.*

“Do you want to smell it?”

“I guess,” I said. I leaned across the desks and placed my elbow down for support, my pencil still in hand. The pencil was closest to my face in this position. The boy held the little plastic bag open for me. I had no idea what this white, powdery stuff was, but I figured it couldn’t hurt to smell it. I took a quick whiff and didn’t pick up much of a scent, except for my pencil. I sat back down in my seat, unimpressed.

“I found it,” he said with a smile.

Me and one of my classmates nodded. We didn’t really care and we didn’t really ask questions. We just thought it was weird that this boy picked up a random plastic bag of white powder from the street. I didn’t understand why he would be interested in keeping something like that.

Later, this boy was called to the principal’s office. He wasn’t the most well-behaved kid out there, but he hadn’t actually thrown a tantrum that day, so we were all very curious to find out why he was in trouble.

“I heard he brought drugs to school.”

“Drugs? That’s weird,” I said.

“Yeah, apparently he found some bag somewhere. On the ground when he was walking to school.”

I gulped. Was I going to get in trouble, too? What if my parents found out? I couldn’t go to jail. Do they send ten-year-olds to jail? I heard some of the bad kids got sent to jail. Was he going to tell on me?

“Oh no. I saw it. He let me smell it,” I said with embarrassment and guilt.

“YOU SMELLED IT??” She practically screamed at me. I really wished she would lower her voice.


“You know that’s how they do some of the drugs, right? They smell it!”

My heart started racing. I didn’t know that’s how people did drugs! Actually, I wasn’t aware of any other drug besides weed. How many kinds of drugs were there??

“Well, I didn’t really get to smell it. I didn’t smell anything. I just smelled my pencil. I was too far away,” I stammered. But in my mind I was going over it again and again. Did I actually smell it? Did it go up my nose? I don’t think it did. How would I know?

Thankfully, my friend didn’t tell anyone, but she was very disappointed to find out that I was really that stupid. How could I not know about this drug? Everybody knew about it. But, my parents sheltered me so much that I wasn’t aware.

About half of the day went by and we still hadn’t heard back about this boy until finally he walked back into the classroom. It was determined that the white powder was not a drug. He also did not tell on me. He did, however, get lectured on the dangers of picking up random substances from the street.

I was so relieved!

We were told that the white powder was probably just sugar.

Categories: Stories of East Palo AltoTags: , , ,

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