Day 16: Put on music in the background today while you write. Write a scene that captures the feeling of the music . . .
Bryan was a good boy, by anyone’s standards. Even though he grew up on the wrong side of the tracks, he did what was told without question or hesitation; he was a straight ‘A’ student as well and always helped his teachers whenever they needed assistance. That all changed after three months of sixth grade at St. Matthew’s Preparatory School. He brought a kitchen knife the length of his forearm, to school last month and threatened to stab Sam Hendricks, a fellow sixth grader and a known bully. Bryan was suspended for two weeks for that grievous offence and was searched everyday since to ensure he was no longer a danger to himself, to Sam, or anybody else. Last Friday, he started a fire in the library. No students were harmed nor were the library books damaged, however, such an act was irrevocable and would result in Bryan’s immediate expulsion.
On the Monday following the fire, Bryan was called to the principals’ office as they phoned in his parents to discuss his behaviour and the obvious next step.
“But he’s just a poor boy, from a poor family.” Cried Bryan’s mother, distraught at the prospect of finding another school for her son, who was the sweetest child she knew. “Where will he go?” She pleaded with the principal who sat on the other side of his dreary oak desk.
“Please Mr. Simmons.” Bryan’s father added to the plea. “Spare him this life of this monstrosity. If you do this, if you kick him out, it will mark his life for as long as he lives.”
Mr. Simmons frowned at the teary-eyed parents sitting across from him, then looked at Bryan who hung his head in shame. He slowly raised his head to match eyes with his principal.
“I’m sorry I started the fire,” Bryan said sheepishly. “And I promise I’ll never do it again. I swear.” He affirmed more convincingly. “Will you please let me go?”
Mr. Simmons sighed and shook his head. “No Bryan, what you did was inexcusable and punishable by expulsion.”
“Please Mr. Simmons, let him go.” Bryan’s mother sobbed.
“I cannot.” Mr. Simmons replied.
“Look, Mr. Simmons, he’s just a boy, he’s truly sorry for what he did. Just let him go.” The father beseeched him.
“For the love of God I will not let him go.” Mr. Simmons raised his voice involuntarily. “He started a fire in the library for Christ’s sake . . . the library of books the school was given because we couldn’t afford them. The library . . . where other students go to study and do their research.” He looked between the father and the mother with incredulity. He wiped his brow with a handkerchief, “Let’s say he doesn’t set fire to the library again . . . where’s next? The main office? The cafeteria? My office?” Mr. Simmons’ face reddened with a protruding vein on his temple at the disheartening thought of Bryan setting fire to his office.
Bryan’s mother and father jumped at the outburst but could say nothing more for Mr. Simmons was right. They looked at each other and while the father shook his head the mother burst out in another fit of sobs.
“I am truly sorry it came to this,” Mr. Simmons started, “but Bryan can no longer be apart of St. Matthew’s. He must go.”
With that, the parents stood and Bryan followed suit. As Bryan’s parents exited the principal’s office Bryan turned to Mr. Simmons and said “You think you can stop me and spit in my eye when a bully does worse to your students? You think I’m just going to roll over and die because you don’t want me in your stupid school?” Bryan stood in the doorway, fists balled up and anger written across his face. “None of this matters, everyone can see. Nothing really matters to me!”