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Mr. Rothman is a sixth grade science teacher at Stoneybrook Middle School. He is only in the book Stacey and the Haunted Masquerade.

Biography[]

He volunteered to be in charge of the decorations committee in Stacey and the Haunted Masquerade, in order to get to know the students. It's mentioned that he is a new teacher.

In seventh grade he put peanut butter on the doorknobs. He was an eighth grade student at SMS twenty-eight years ago when the first masquerade dance was held.

His Story to Stacey McGill[]

“I was nice to her,” he said. “I was nice to everybody. But since nobody else was nice to Liz, I guess it meant a lot to her. She developed a big crush on me – at least, according to the other kids. She didn’t know they knew. She thought her crush was a secret. But it wasn’t. It was a big joke to everybody.”

“It gets worse. See, when my friends on the football team heard that there was going to be a costume dance on the night before Halloween that year, they came up with a plan. They thought it would be hilarious if I asked Liz to the dance. They cornered me, and dared me to do it.” He paused. “And then, just to up the ante, they bet me ten dollars that I wouldn’t last the whole evening with her.”

“I wish I had. But being popular was so important to me. I knew it was wrong, but I did it anyway. I figured I’d ask her out, and tell her later about the bet. Maybe I’d even split the money with her. I didn’t realize how serious she was about me. I thought she’d think the whole thing was silly, just like I did.”

“I asked her to the dance, at school, in front of a bunch of my friends. She didn’t have a clue that I wasn’t being sincere. She was thrilled to be invited.”

“By the time the dance rolled around, I was feeling so guilty I could hardly stand it,” Mr. Rothman continued. “I went to Liz’s house to pick her up, and she came downstairs in this ridiculous, elaborate, babyish fairy princess costume. She looked pretty, but she looked about nine years old. I felt even worse when I saw her, because I knew the other kids were going to laugh at her costume. I realized then that there was no way I could tell her about the bet. I was just going to have to stick it out and hope for the best.”

I winced. “Didn’t she know her costume was silly?”

He shook his head. “I’m sure she didn’t. You should have seen her when we walked into the gym. Everybody was snickering and whispering, but she didn’t notice a thing. She just took my arm and smiled up at me, and I knew she was proud to be my date. I felt like the lowest of the low. I knew exactly what was going on, but Liz was oblivious. One girl, sort of a friend of hers, walked by and hissed into my ear ‘How dare you?’ It was awful.”

“Did you stick it out?” I asked. “Did you win the ten dollars?” I knew my tone was nasty, but I felt angry at that Mike Rothman of so long ago.

“I’m coming to that,” he answered. “Once the music started, things were a little better. After all, at least we could dance. And boy, did we dance! I didn’t want Liz to spend a second alone, since somebody might spill the beans. I couldn’t bring her over to be with my friends. And I sure didn’t want to stand around and talk. So we danced and danced, to every single song.” He smiled. “Liz was having a great time, and you know what? I could have been, too. If only I’d been honest with her, and with myself. But instead, I was caught in the biggest lie of my life.”

“So how did it turn out?” I asked.

“The band announced that it was almost time for the ‘last dance.’ Liz ran off to the powder room, and I talked to my friends. When she came back, I joined her right away, but she’d seen me with them, and she’d seen how uncomfortable I’d looked. She asked me what was wrong, but I didn’t answer. Then the band started playing ‘Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?’ ”

I gasped, remembering the letters in dripping red paint.

Mr. Rothman barely noticed. He was deeply involved in his story. “When I didn’t take Liz into my arms for the dance, she. asked me again what was wrong. I shook my head. Then I said, ‘I can’t do this.’ I looked around and saw that nobody else was dancing either. They were all watching us. Liz saw it, too. ‘I just can’t do it,’ I said again, and I broke away from her. As I walked away, I took a ten-dollar bill from my pocket and threw it onto the floor, just to show my friends how little the money meant to me.”

“But Liz – ” I began.

“The money landed at her feet,” he said. “She was totally humiliated, standing there alone in the middle of the dance floor. A few kids started to laugh. Liz looked around at the crowd one more time, and from what I heard later, this time she looked angry. Then she walked out the door and slammed it behind her. A couple of minutes later, the power went off in the gym.”

“And then?”

“Then the fire alarm went off – because somebody pulled it – and that’s when everybody stampeded. Three hundred kids tried to leave the gym, all at the same time. It must have been a madhouse.”

“And Mr. Brown died,” I said.

Mr. Rothman nodded. “Of a heart attack,” he said. “There’s never been another Mischief Night masquerade.”

“What about Liz Connor Liz?” I asked.

“She never came back to school,” he answered. “Her family moved away, and nobody’s heard of her since.”

Both of us were quiet for a few seconds. Then Mr. Rothman gave me a tired smile. “This is why I wanted to work on your dance,” he said. “Just to make sure everything goes smoothly this time.”

Trivia[]

  • He was on the football team.
  • He has an extreme of heights.
  • In school he was an average student
  • A lot of girls liked him when he was younger

Gallery[]

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