Dietrich jumped into his car and threw his backpack into the back. The rest of Winter break had passed so quickly that everything seemed so much like a blur. The charity basketball match a week ago seemed so far back. He shifted around with the channels to find nothing good on. He was always disappointed in the morning with the radio; he was never fond of liberal radio talk shows shelling out sided arguments.
As he turned out of his driveway he punched in a playlist and looked up to see a strange car always sitting at the end of the street. It wouldn’t be odd on a regular day, but for the past few weeks the same cable car had been sitting there, would leave, then come back at different times of the day. Dietrich shrugged it off. In a few minutes he would have to deal with the stress of the stretch of school until spring break.
The day was nice. It was cloudy, but the sun streaked through the clouds. He slightly opened the window and took a fresh breath of crisp clear air. His body felt lighter with it.
First period was a blur. English class passed out new books; he didn’t even glance at the title and shoved it in his backpack. The teacher passed out packets of work and a new work schedule that would accompany the book. Before he knew it the bell had rung. Dietrich walked through the hallways walking over to his government class waving to his friends here and there. Government class was at the other end of the short hall so getting there wasn’t very hard. As Dietrich dropped his bag and sat down in his second class the teacher handed him a pink hall pass summoning him to the principal’s office. He looked up at the teacher with his eyes wide, he knew exactly what had happened. The teacher just shrugged.
“You should go, one of the office ladies walked here and sent me the letter saying this had to get to you at the beginning of class and I had to release you.”
Dietrich groaned. He picked up his backpack and trudged out of the class. The principal’s office was located at the front of the school and he was a ways off and had some time to figure out a game plan for certain situations. The boys hadn’t talked about the fight since it had happened and the Claremont kids hadn’t mentioned anything about one of their boys getting screwed over. He deducted that it was either a fight, or just that the principal wanted to talk to him about his dad, which had happened before. As he opened the door that lead to the principal’s office all hope that it was nothing was shattered. There were two police officers talking with the principal and Derrick, Grant, Hughes, and Joshua were all sitting in the waiting room. The all stared at Dietrich with a nervous look in their faces. Grant broke the silence with a whisper.
“Eff that guy man. I just heard that the one guy that was left behind made up a BS story that we jumped him.”
Dietrich looked at Derrick and he had somewhat of a pained look in his face.
“We stick to the real story. They invited us to play basketball, one thing lead to another, and they started a fight. We had to defend ourselves so we did. There’s nothing more to it.” Derrick shrugged.
“All five of you boys come inside, we need to have a talk.” The principal motioned them toward five seats that had been set up in his mid- sized room. “Boys, have a seat. The officers are hear on a police report that has you four names on them allegedly reporting that you five boys attacked a boy from Claremont. Is that true?”
No one spoke. They shifted their eyes away from the principal. Dietrich looked up and calmly said, “No, we never would do something like that.”
“Then what happened? I believe I want to hear what you boys have to say and I believe the officers should hear your stories as well.” The officers took out notepads and pens and Dietrich began to explain what happened with the rest of the boys filling in information that he had skipped here and there. The officers kept looking at each other and kept exhaling as if they didn’t believe what they were hearing. Dietrich finished the story and the principal looked at the officers. “You men satisfied with this story, does it line up with any evidence?”
“We will see Mr. Jamison, we’ll have to have another meeting with all of the boys together to find out what our plan of action will be. We’ll contact you later today. Thank you.” The police officers both extended the arms and the principal shook both.
“Please close the door along the way, I would like to speak to these boys in private.”
The two police officers left the room and closed the door. Instantly the mood of the room changed. The principal swiveled his chair to face the window behind him and started to mumble to himself. The boys looked at each other a little scared. Finally, he turned around, stood up, and smashed his fists into his desk.
“I am ASHAMED in all five of you! To be students of MY school and go off and have a brawl with a neighboring school. Do you know what image this gives us!? Of course I know that Claremont is full of rich snobs that have their fathers backings, but Washington, WASHINGTON boys should know better!” he paused and stared each of them in the eye. The boys looked back speechless creeping deeper and deeper into their seats. Even Joshua looked extremely scared as he shrunk back due to the enraged principal. He began to speak in a soft but “Deadly”? voice, “I have been following each of you seniors individually. From grades to extra- curricular activities, I look at who you are, what you have been doing, and what you are capable of. You are all amazing boys. Everyone of you, I know all of your stories and where you boys come from.” He paused and sat back down in his desk. “I will think of a due punishment for you five and I will speak to your parents. If things go wrong at the station your futures can get compromised. I don’t wish for that to happen but it may. Return to your classes, we will speak again when I receive more information.”
But I think he was trying to help us. He seemed like he didn’t want anything bad to happen to us.
“Damn This sucks man, if I get screwed my life is over. FREAK, What the hell am I going to do!?”
“Grant, calm down, I think we’ll be okay. The principal sounded like he was just really disappointed in us, but he wanted to help us. He said he didn’t want anything to happen to our futures remember?” Joshua patted Grant on the back.
“ARGH, I’ll make sure nothing happens to my future. My dad won’t allow it. We didn’t do anything wrong.”
“Yeah, well military looks at criminal records. I’m freaking screwed too.” Derrick replied
Joshua tried to calm the group a bit, “And I’m sure that nothing will happen. Just chill we still got school to worry about.”
“Yeah, dude. If at all anything they threw the first punch. We’ll be okay,” said Dietrich
“All this crap is annoying. I hope it’ll be over soon. Have fun in class.” Hughes waved everyone off and left for his class first. Grant stomped off fusing with anger and Joshua sighed and looked at Dietrich and Derrick.
“We should be alright, we should talk at lunch today.” Joshua patted both Derrick and Dietrich on the shoulders.
The three of them split each letting out a heavy sigh. There was enough on their minds to worry about, and with this ordeal in place life wasn’t going to get any easier. Soon it was lunch time and they met at the usual lunch tables with grim faces. Even Joshua looked a bit down. They plopped their bags on the table and hunched over burying their face into their crossed arms. They looked so down that a black cloud seemed to be lurching over them. Jane dashed over bearing some apples and bananas and looked at all of them. She let out a big sigh and crossed her arms.
“It’ll be okay you guys. Cheer up and eat something!”
They all resounded together. “No Jane…”
There was a long awkward silence as Jane tried to say something helpful.
“Well then… Forget it! I’m done trying to cheer you boys up!”
Jane looked up, made a blank look on her face and took a seat next to Derrick slumping her face into her crossed arms. “You boys make me depressed…”
Soon Jeanette and Kerry walked over with their lunch pails. They looked around a little confused and looked at each other. Kerry took a spot between Grant and Joshua and Jeanette took a seat next to Dietrich and Hughes. They began to open their lunches but looked at each other and felt bad. They sighed, crossed their arms and buried their head into their arms.
Hughes looked up and around. “God we are pitiful. Let’s not talk about what happened today, I don’t think it will help.” He picked up an apple that Jane had put on the table and took a big bite out of it and picked up another and threw it at Joshua who caught it without even looking up. The apple looked tiny compared to Joshua’s big hands. He took a bite into the apple leaving only half of the apple still intact. He swallowed the rest of the apple whole. Everyone looked up, wide eyed at Joshua. Joshua shrunk back, embarrassed.
“What, I think it’s a waste not to eat the whole apple!”
Everyone let out a big laugh, and the dark cloud over them disappeared.
With that lunch was over, and school ended. The boys received a notice in their last class that read.
I spoke to the officer in charge of this case. We are going to speak to everyone that was involved that night and get the story straight. I will personally call your parents tonight.
The final bell rang, and the boys slowly gathered at the front of the school. They each clutched a small piece of paper.
“God, everything is moving so slowly…” Grant took a deep breath in and screamed out, “MAKE IT GO FASTER!!!” The group jumped back shocked at his outburst.
“Hey, Grant. Calm down, at least nobody knows about what’s going on, and if people think we’re a bunch of idiots jumping Claremont kids that wouldn’t be very fun,” said Dietrich
“Yeah, whatever. I need to make sure the phones unhooked or something. I don’t want to deal with this today, my parents will take any little thing and make a big deal and fight over it. Catch you guys later.”
“Yeah, there’s not much we can do about it right now catch you guys tomorrow or something. Teachers that give homework right after breaks are ridiculous… annoying. Let’s go Joshua I’ll give you a ride back home,” and with that Hughes gave his standard wave as he walked away.
Joshua gave a faint smile, patted Dietrich and Derrick on the back a final time and ran after Hughes.
Derrick looked up at the sky, stretched his hands up high, and yawned wrapped his hands on Dietrich’s shoulder who was standing right next to him. Dietrich shoved the note into his pants and started to walk pushing Dietrich with him.
“So, me and Jane have a date tonight at small café downtown, and I was wondering if you want to do a double date with Jeanette? What do you say?”
“Forget it dude, you know we’re strictly friends”
Derrick chuckled, “you guys been friends for way too long, how does a boy stay friends with a girl that he’s known since elementary school and just leave it that way? I say”
Dietrich cut him off mid sentence and brushed his hand off his shoulder, “and not everyone in this world thinks with his balls Mr. Crossroad. Oh, and make sure you announce this to the Derrick Crossroad fan club, cause some of those girls are crazy about you. Ha ha, Have fun with Jane.” Derrick opened his car door and waved Derrick off.
Derrick just grinned largely, “Weren’t you the president of my fan club? So doesn’t that mean you are also my spokesperson? I’ll leave that up to you! I’m glad I got you to get my back all the time!”
“Ha Ha, very funny Mr. Crossroad. See you later man.” Derrick waved back at Dietrich and continued to walk to his car.
Dietrich started his car, pulled out of the parking lot, and drove home. He noticed the he was still holding the note in his hand. He had a funny feeling in his stomach. The sun looked as if it was going down quicker than usual. It wasn’t a good funny feeling, and wasn’t that the note was bothering him. He just had a bad feeling.