Roy Sue Hinkie, By Amber Lyons

Roy Sue Hinkie

By Amber Lyons

Life is full of choices. The apple or the orange? The chicken or the egg? The dog or the cat? ROY SUE HINKE’S stinky, crusty feet or the painful paddle? The hotdog or the hamburger? The car or the motorcycle? ROY SUE’S nasty, skin peeling fungus feet or the hard wooden paddle? The AP class or the normal class? The coffee or the tea? The cake or the ice cream? The soda or the water?

 So many choices… And in my adolescence, I had to make a grave decision.

I was in second grade when I was scarred for life. My teacher, ROY SUE HINKIE, called me to her desk. Usually, when a teacher calls a student to their desk, it’s to discuss assignments, or absences, or literally anything but rubbing their feet.

Now, you might think that this request was bizarre —and you’re entirely right—but see, I knew this was coming. I was not the first student to be called down for a rubbing of the cankles and below. Before me there was, Charlie—an African American boy, and Jenna—a  Hispanic girl, and Ariana—an African American girl, but NEVER Meghan, that horrible, terrible white girl who ratted me out on a test for “cheating” when I didn’t cheat! (That’s a story for another day.) Now, I’m not saying my teacher was a racist, but at the time I did attend an elementary school in Monroe, Louisiana; a quaint little town that prides itself with the confederate flag.

 I took a deep breath and faced my teacher. “Yes, Miss. HINKIE? Whatever do you want?”

 She looked back at me, with her wrinkly skin and frail blond hair. A smile crept upon her decrepit face.

 “Amber… Would you rub my feet for me?” She asked. I groaned—on the inside. Now you would think I had a choice. You would think I had the option, the choice to say ‘No’, but you would be wrong. See, on ROY SUE HINKIE’s desk there was a long, maple wooden paddle. This paddle was used to whip students who “misbehaved”, and you better bet that the school used it. If I had a dollar every time I heard the cries of the paddle’s victims, I’d have been rich at seven years old. My teacher stroked the solid paddle on her desk, awaiting my answer…

Now I stood in front of her trying to deliberate the lesser of two evils. I could either help the elderly or—and pardon my language here—receive an as$ whoopin. My childish mind had figured the best mode of discourse was to help the elderly. I was doing a good thing,I thought to myself as I went behind my teachers desk and instantly recoiled.

 Her feet were ugly. In fact, they were so terrifying I can’t even bring myself to paint a picture in your head. So instead I will tell you a bunch of terrible things that look prettier than that woman’s feet: Stacey Dash, a 65 year old Vegas showgirl, Freddy Krueger’s sliced ham looking face, 3G Internet Speed, a rotten fruit cup from Chick-Fil-A, all four Teletubbies staring back at you in the middle of the night while you’re sleeping, the 50 Shades of Greyfranchise, a person who WON’T STOP TALKING, Beyonce’s acting, Cara Delevingne's acting, Kourtney Kardashian’s acting, Kim Kardashian’s crying, Logan Paul, Jermaine Jackson’s hairstyle, an alpaca giving birth, stray floating weave hairs, Golden Corral, awkward never-ending silence, and finally, grown adults who wear baby costumes and are spoon fed because they want to be an infant…

Completely terrifying.

On the bright side at least her feet didn’t stink?

I bent down and started shoving my kiddy fingers inside the sole of HINKIE’S feet. I made sure to be rough, so she would be as uncomfortable I was. My teacher groaned and I smiled. Haha! Feel how I feel, ROY SUE!

“Stop. Stop.” she said, and I grinned on the inside in response.

 “Yes, ma’am.” I said. She didn’t have to tell me twice. I started to get up when ROY SUE  stopped me.

 “Where are you going?”

“You said stop?”

“I didn’t want you to leave.” ROY SUE said as she whipped out a bottle of lotion. She handed it to me and I gagged.

Lesser of two evils, lesser of two evils, lesser of two evils, lesser of two evils, lesser of two evils…

I took the lotion, and I spread it over her—I know I said I wouldn’t but I lied—crusty crevices. The skin on her toes were peeling off. The dull, red nail polish on her toenails did not offset her saggy foot flesh. Harsh purple and blue veins protruded from her thin skin. Spots and old age gave her feet an undead pallor, that I guarantee could not be fixed by a bottle of lotion… But I did it. I rubbed the lotion all over her feet. Horrible Meghan looked down at me as I rubbed ROY SUE’S crusty feet.

I remember coming home that day, and telling my mother what had transpired.

“Did you tell your teacher no?” She asked.

“No, but I couldn’t—” I started.

“Amber, don’t do that anymore.”

The next day of school, my teacher didn’t call me behind her desk; another of my unsuspecting peers performed the inhumane deed. For the rest of the school year, my teacher never called me to the back of the class again. Despite my gleeful ending, I will never forget the day my teacher turned me into a slave.

Afterwards:

I looked ROY SUE HINKIE up online to see what the woman has been up too, since my departure from her class. I did manage to find her online—in an obituary. She died Sunday January 2nd, 2011. A girl named Mandie Smith wrote in my old teacher’s guest book. She said, “ROY SUE HINKIE was such a big part of my life”, and I suppose—in some ways—mine too.

Virginia ArcherComment