Back in the fall I wrote a story featuring Miranda (Drug Bust – Oct 30). This is another story about her.
I was in my first year as principal of Macdonald Consolidated School. It was a Friday and our lunch break had just ended. One of the grade 8’s rushed into my office.
“Mr. Caines! Miranda – she took 10Tylenol and ran away. I’m afraid she is going to overdose. We need to go find her.”
“Slow down. Now tell me exactly what happened.”
The student told me the story. Apparently, the Tylenol were regular strength. I don’t recall if she actually saw Miranda swallow the pills of if she was going by what Miranda had told her, but the student was in a panic and felt it necessary that we mobilize and form search parties.
I said, “I know where you will be if I need your help in searching. For now, simply go to class and leave the matter with me.”
The first thing I did was call the 1-800 number for Poison Control. The person on the line assured me that Miranda wasn’t in any danger having taken the pills; however, she probably shouldn’t make a habit of it.
Miranda was a textbook case of a student who was desperately in need of attention. There always seemed to be something going on with her. My gut feeling was that this was more of the same.
Macdonald Consoloidated is a country school. It sits at a crossroads on the top of a hill. It was built in 1910. Across from the school is Trinity Anglican Church, built in 1789. I was staring at the church as I sat in my office wondering what I should do next.
I saw movement. Yes, there was a face peeking out from behind the church. It was Miranda. In my mind I tried to imagine what she expected to see; perhaps, groups of middle school students with portable radios heading off in all directions calling out her name, “Miranda, Miranda.” I wondered if she pictured police officers with tracking dogs and a helicopter flying overhead. I could imagine her disappointment when she saw nothing out of the ordinary.
Our afternoons were only ninety minutes long and, by this time, we had less than an hour to go. Buses would soon be arriving to load the K-5 students. I decided that I would simply do some paperwork and keep my eye on the corner of the church.
As I suspected would happen when the middle school students started boarding their buses, Miranda reappeared. Without any fanfare she crossed the road and climbed into her bus. I called her home and explained what had transpired. Sometimes the best response is no response. I was ready for a well-deserved weekend.
As I type this, a thought occurs to me: perhaps by taking 10 Tylenol it was Miranda’s way to acknowledge all the headaches she caused ME that year.
I’m not sure 10 covered it.
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