I hope I don’t die. I hope I don’t rot to death of this cold seat. I hope I don’t go to jail.

I hope I get a second chance. Again. I hope I don’t get detention. I hope I don’t get stuck up in a room all by myself except for Ms. Jewel. I hope I don’t die. I hope I don’t get grounded. My mom is gonna kill me. My feet hang off of the seat, swaying back and forth, just barely touching the ground. He’s across the hall from me. I glance up at him and he looks down quickly. The only thing worse then being stuck in Ms. Jewel’s room during lunch is being alone in the hallway with your worst enemy. I squirm in my seat and it squeaks loudly. I wonder to myself if they purposely make the seats outside of the principal’s office so uncomfortable and squeaky. Do they want to weaken us before we suffer? Everything is quiet. Then the bell rings. Still quiet. Then the door slams open and light streams in, followed by hundreds of kids. They stampede into the school, screaming, talking, laughing. Very few give us more then a glance, and the ones that do quickly look away. They don’t want to get involved in this. And I can’t blame them. As they all run by someone’s backpack slams against my face. The person quickly murmurs an apology before they’re swept away again in the crowd. Ow. The last of the kids quickly disappear around the corner. It becomes quiet again, except for the sound of kids entering their rooms and of teachers shushing them. My face is burning from the backpack that hit me. Now I have to go to the bathroom, but I know that I can’t. If I do somehow I’ll be in even more trouble.

I look across the hall over his head at the distorted glass. Behind it I can make out two figures. One is obviously Mr. Andrews – I can make out his purple tie. So then the other one has to be the principal. How long does it take to explain? It’s been almost half an hour, but it feels like days. He is still staring at the floor, emotionless and expressionless as usual. Down the hall the last of the doors close and it becomes completely silent again. If I try hard I can hear Mr. Andrews telling the principal what happened between me and him. I can’t understand the words, but it sounds like he’s over-exaggerating it. His arms are always moving behind the glass. Mr. Andrews is like that. Finally the door cracks open and Mr. Andrew’s sticks his head out. “You can come in now boy.” he says. I stand up and the bench creaks below me. I pick up my backpack and walk across the hall. He just continues staring down at the floor. As I walk inside Mr. Andrews closes the door behind me. “Sit down.” the principal says. I sit down and sink into a much comfier chair than the benches outside. “Kevin Lustworth.” the principal starts. “Mr. Andrews has just informed me of the situation we have. And it is my understanding that this is not the first time you have had a disagreement with this boy Jack.” “Yes sir.” I say. “Well I do hope that you remember the last incident.” he continues. “It is my understanding that this incident was very similar to the last one.” “Yes sir. But-” I begin.

“But nothing.” he says. “We already talked about this Kevin. You are not to start fights at school.” “Yes, I know – but this time it wasn’t-” “I don’t care who started it! Don’t you understand? You continued it no matter what, so you will still be punished.” he turns to Mr. Andrews. “Bring Jack in.” Jack comes in and sits down across from me. The principal continues, “I am ashamed of both of you, and not just you Kevin. You guys are in 5th grade! All of the other kids look up to you! You need to set a good example for them! Starting fights in the schoolyard is NOT setting a good example!” He turns to Jack. “You will both have full period detention through the end of the week with Ms. Jewel. And if I hear that either of you are causing trouble, I will add on another week. Don’t forget to bring your lunches. Jack, I will call your mother before school lets out and inform her of this event, and I will remind her to pack a lunch for you. Kevin, in addition you will be grounded till next Monday. No exceptions.” “What?!” I protest. “No fair! Just because Jack isn’t your son he only gets half the punishment of me?” My dad replies, “Jack, how do you think your mother will respond to all this?” “Oh, she will probably ground me for 3 weeks.” he says. “You see? I am letting you go with just a couple of days on this one.” he turns to Jack. “Jack, I will ask your mother personally to not be too hard on you this time.” “Thank you sir.” he says “You are both dismissed.”