It’s first period and I’m on my way to room 20. I have only one thing in mind, and that’s getting close to Jamie, the new seventh grade girl.
Brad Murphy passes me in the hall, a smirk on his face before he turns away. Is he laughing at my scabs? Maybe he hasn’t learned his lesson after all.
When I get to the room, I find Jamie working at her station. She flashes on my face and turns away, not saying anything. God, she is really hot with her pointy titties and great hair. She has freckles on her nose and her blonde hair is piled on the top of her head with little curly strands falling out all over the place. I sit only two spaces away from her. When she’s here, the room shines.
Mr. Sandifer gives me a look. For a teacher, he’s not a bad guy. He does his best to bring us all along, trying to teach us something. But lately, he doesn’t have the patience like he used to. Maybe working with the retards is wearing him out. Mrs. Fredericks is the teacher aide, and she is really something.
I slide by Jamie’s station close enough to get a whiff of her perfume, but she’s hard at work . Being an eighth grader should give me an edge. But since I’m only in room 20 for the first two periods, I have only limited time to work on her.
There’s a worksheet on the Bill of Rights sitting on my desk. I turn to Mr. Sandifer and give him the okay sign. It’s been a drag to get this out of him. Special Ed kids can skip the Constitution test, something all regular eighth graders have to pass before they can graduate. There’s no way I’m going to let them pigeon-hole me any more than they already do. So, it will take me a little longer to read, but I have the whole year. I know I can do it.
The new sixth grade kid comes into the room. He looks beat. It’s the second day in a row he’s been late. Poor kid probably met up with Brad Murphy. He takes his seat and wipes his eyes. Mrs. Fredericks goes over and talks to him.
For an older woman, she is primo with full boobs and great legs. But, the thing about her is her personality. She always has a smile on her face and when she talks to you it is full on. I mean, it feels like her eyes are boring right into you. In the three years I’ve been in this room, I’ve never heard her yell at anyone. She’s the nicest person I’ve ever met. And she doesn’t bug me or bother me about my reading problem, either. She showed me how to cut tiles and make mosaic patterns on wood. I’m working on a chessboard in my free time.
Mr. Sandifer says when I finish it he will challenge me to a game. I haven’t played anybody and wonder if I’m any good.
Mrs. F. leaves the kid and I notice Jamie looking over at us. Maybe if I speak to him she will tune in.
“Hey, kid, what’s your name?”
He stares at me, his big brown eyes wide with surprise.
“Uh, my name is Richard, Richard Sims.”
He looks scared shitless like I’m the enemy. “So, why are you late, Richard, trouble with the Murphy dick in the hall?”
The kid’s brow wrinkles and he looks confused.
“The Murphy dick?”
“Yeah, the tall pimply eighth grader with stringy hair who hates room 20 kids.”
My question has definitely caught Jamie’s attention. I catch her eye and she almost smiles at me. God, how can I pump this up?
“Yeah, listen kid, Brad Murphy is a dick who thinks he’s king shit. He was elected student body president by his suck-up friends and a bunch of dummies who were afraid to vote against him. He didn’t do anything to you today, did he? I can’t believe this is me talking, because I hardly ever say anything.
Richard swallows and starts to explain. Jamie leans in. I smell something like jasmine filling my space.
The kid says, “Yesterday he grabbed me in the hall and pushed me up against the lockers. He was choking me and said if he ever saw me in the eighth grade wing again, I’d be dead meat. I … I didn’t know this was their wing.”
Jamie chimes in. “Yeah, I didn’t know that either.”
Her head is cocked to one side and her big blue eyes are doing a dance. I know that sounds weird and it’s probably just me.
When she opens her mouth to speak, I almost lose it. It’s her lips that are getting me. They are rose colored with edges crying out to be kissed. She doesn’t wear any makeup that I can tell. If she licks those lips, I’m going to have to make a quick run to the boy’s room.
A monitor comes in the room with a call slip. Mr. Sandifer brings it to me and says, “The Vice-principal wants to see you in his office, Steven.”
I get up, hunch my shoulders and try to look cool, but my gut is telling me I’m in trouble.
Mr. Aguilar is waiting for me. He stands aside, as I go into his office. He’s a big guy with black hair and a mustache, and dark eyes that stare holes in you.
“Sit down, Steven,” he barks.
He has a nasty look on his face, and takes a seat behind his desk. “Alright, Steven, tell me how you got those scabs on your face.”
Now, I know what it’s about and I begin to explain. “Brad Murphy and his two friends jumped me on my way home from school, Friday.”
He nods. “Oh, really? That’s not the way Brad tells it. He says you jumped him, and his friends joined in to keep you from killing him.”
My head is shaking and I can’t believe they have twisted what really happened. “They’re lying, Mr. Aguilar. I was on my way home when . . .”
The Vice-Principal interrupts. “And you pulled a knife on them, didn’t you?”
Crap, the knife. “Uh, no, uh, yes, but it was just an X-acto, Mr. Aguilar. It was the only way I could defend myself. It was three against one.”
The V.P.’s eyes are roaming about the office until they fix on me.
“You know we have strict school rules about carrying knives or other dangerous objects on your person, don’t you?” He says it practically spitting out the words.
I realize they’ve got me, though only half their story is true. “Yes, Sir, but I knew they were going to jump me. They’ve been bugging me since sixth grade.”
He stands and points at me. “Give me the knife, Steven.”
My heart is pumping through my skin. “I don’t have it on me, Mr. Aguilar.”
“Go get it, and pick up your books and other things. As of today, you are suspended for one week. I have already notified your father.”
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