He looked like a 7th-grader’s version of a gangster. Skinny as a minute, practice tattoos from his friend dotting the tops of his fingers, laughing at everything. He wore lots of red: a flat-brimmed baseball cap pulled low over his eyes, a red basketball jersey over a white T-shirt, red shoes, his neck roped with silver chains.
“Hey hey, Miss Gangsta Teacher, what’s up?”
His laugh, high and silly. And charming. I found myself looking forward to the fact that he would laugh at even my worst jokes.
“Mrs. Loughlin IS a gangster,” I said, laughing with him, teasing my friend and colleague, Elaine, who’d brought me over to the high school to help her teach night class.
“I’m not Miss Gangster Teacher, I’m Mrs. Loughlin,” she said, thoroughly unamused.
“No, you Miss Gangsta because you teach me to pass the test.”