“…are not opinions, are not lies, are not fictions,” said my sixth grade teacher Mrs. Anderson. “Take history, for example. The things we learn in history are facts.”
The Magna Carta was signed in 1215. George Washington was the first president of the United States. Teddy Roosevelt said something about a big stick.
These were examples of facts from history.
“But there are other types of facts, too,” said Mrs. Anderson. “My favorite color is red. That’s a fact. They served grilled cheese at lunch today. Another fact.”
At my desk I colored hard, hard, hard across my paper. I’d been up to my old habit of practicing people’s signatures again, and it was starting to look weird. Katie Fisher. Erin Gleason. Teagan Renee Smith.
“Eleanor, can you give us an example of a fact?” said Mrs. Anderson.
The pencil had turned the side of my hand all grey. Out the window, the oak trees were shedding their pollen.
My mom hit me with a hanger this morning. I’m not allowed to shave my legs or wear lipstick. I wish I had a pair of Seven jeans like Teagan Renee Smith.
I looked up from my paper. “I have a dog named Maple Bone who loves to fetch the newspaper.”
“Very good,” said Mrs. Anderson. Maple Bone, she wrote on the chalkboard, at the bottom of our growing list of facts. I looked around the classroom with my face turning red, Mrs. Anderson’s favorite color. I wondered if there was any way people could find out I’d never had a dog.