Tony turned left onto Shore Street. Mapleridge secondary school was now in plain sight. Mapleridge was a school with a bad reputation but anyone living in Eastern Scarborough could have told you that. When you think Mapleridge secondary, you think drugs; and not just marijuana, oh no, there was much more. You could get just about anything; crack, heroin, steroids, even LSD if that's what you were partial to.
This was exactly why Tony was up at seven a.m. on that crisp October morning. Tony had been hired to attend Mapleridge in order to bring these drug dealers to justice; in other words, Tony was a nark. He had been accepted into Police College straight out of high school and attended in Aylmer. From a young age Tony had known what he wanted to do and promised himself that he would join the force. Needless to say, he graduated at the top of his class specializing in illegal narcotics. It was partially his knowledge of illegal drugs, having experimented with many in his high school days as well, and also his soft young looks that landed him the job. Being a nark was not exactly what Tony had had in mind but it was something; besides, if he did a good job here it could lead to a much brighter future.
Tony pulled into the lot with his battered Honda Civic. He got out and shut the door behind him. The lot was bare with the exception of a few vehicles belonging to the early bird staff members. As he made his way through the parking lot he found himself guessing which car belonged to the principal.
Tony had a special gift for reading people. He could have a five minute conversation with you and know more about you than your own mother. He had had a brief conversation with the principal of Mapleridge the other day and that alone was enough to indicate that the corvette parked in the corner of the lot belonged to him. He seemed like the type of the guy that would go out of his way to park across the lot where nobody else would ever even consider to park just to make sure nobody dented up his side door.
As Tony walked up the crumbling steps he took in a deep breath and then exhaled. "Well, this is it," he said to himself. Tony opened the front door and went inside.
Walking down the halls reminded him of his own high school days. He was the classic teacher's pet and that was exactly how Tony had liked it. Chatting with all of the other A students between classes, never missing a homework assignment, yet still remaining well liked by the majority of the student population. These were all things that had made up his high school experience, but this time his high school experience would be much different.
Tony reached the office and walked up to the front desk. His entrance startled the secretary who had been absorbed in her computer work. He cleared his throat. "I'm here to see Mr. Adams."
The secretary nodded, got up, and disappeared into another room. She returned momentarily and told him that Mr. Adams would be with him in a minute.
He sat down in one of the chairs next to the door; one of the same chairs that had struck fear into many students over the years. At the age of twenty five this was the first time he had ever sat down to wait for a principal. It felt strange.
When Mr. Adams peeked out from his office it was made clear that any fear built up by a student waiting to be called upon would have been relinquished after eye contact. Mr. Adams was a funny looking man with a round belly and a receding hairline; certainly not the type of man with the ability to frighten students into good behavior.
"Ah. Mr. Williams. Come in, come in," Tony entered Mr. Adam's office and shut the door behind him.
"It's nice to finally meet you Mr. Adams," Tony articulated. He followed up by offering a hand which Mr. Adams shook firmly.
"Please, call me John. Why don't you take a seat so we can get down to business?" The two men took a seat across from each other at Mr. Adams' desk.
"As I'm sure you know, my school's reputation has fallen victim to a severe amount of drug trafficking. I, along with rest of our staff here at Mapleridge have worked very hard to crack down on this behavior without much luck, but of course, that's why you're here isn't it?" John shot him a hopeful glance.
"Before we go any further I need to make one thing clear" John added. "Under no circumstances will you reveal your identity; obviously not to the students but the staff must remain just as clueless." There was a sullen kind of gravity in his voice. "Some of them simply can't be trusted."
"I'm in the force, I know how things work," Tony replied. The urgency faded slightly from John's face.
"Well you can never be too careful. With things being the way they are it is absolutely imperative that you don't do anything to attract their suspicion. Yes, this does mean that you will have to complete the majority of the homework but don't be afraid to skip class on occasion if some of the other students are doing it. Get to know them; it could lead to crucial information. And most importantly, blend in! Monkey see monkey do."
John reached into his desk and withdrew a single sheet of paper. "Here is your schedule, just let me see here," John said as he thoroughly examined the page. "First period math, second period is your spare, third is gym and your last period is English. I'm sure that won't be too difficult to handle.
"I was always good at math," Tony replied. John offered the schedule to Tony who folded it neatly and tucked it in his bag.
"Are there any names that you would suggest I specifically check into?" Tony asked.
"Yes. Keep an eye out for Chris Slater, Jack Doyle and the rest of their gang. You'll know them when you see them; Blue jeans, leather jackets, work boots and they're always smoking in the pit."
"So you think they're involved in the drug trafficking?" Tony questioned.
"You bet your ass they are! We just need some proof," John glanced at his watch and stood up. "You better get going to math; it's already ten to eight," Tony stood up as well and John showed him to the door. "We'll be meeting again soon," John said.
The door shut behind him as Tony swung his bag over his shoulder. He walked past the still oblivious secretary and exited the office. The hallways were now jam packed with students heading to their first period.
Tony stayed off to the side of the hall so that he didn't get absorbed by the current. He took the schedule out of his bag and scanned it over.
"Room 152," he said to himself. He began walking down the hall and was eventually engulfed by the crowd.