I walked slowly down the hallway. It was lunch time, and it seemed like hundreds of kids where walking past me, chatting and laughing. No one looked lonely; there wasn’t one person who was walking by themselves. Not to mention, the kids in that school were avoiding me like the plague. I had made my mark in that school from the beginning of the year. I guess they had good memories.
I decided to retreat back to the library. As soon as I entered, Miss Karen almost bumped into me. “I was just looking for you, Abbey. Are you excited for tutoring next week?” She asked. I nodded stiffly and walked around her. Tutoring wasn’t worth my time at that moment. I needed to at least try to make friends Dad said, and that’s what I would do.
I took another breath and went back outside. The hallway was a little bit empty, and I realized that all of the clubs started at 12:30 during lunch. “Hey, your name is Abbey, right?” A voice came from behind a row of lockers. I walked a few steps and saw a small boy standing there. I almost laughed because the by looked as if he came straight from the army. Although small in stature, he had a buzz cut and was wearing all camouflage.
“Yes, that’s my name. Who are you?” I asked back. He reached out a small hand and I shook it. “My name is Bradley Conch.” He even sounded official. “I know how hard it is to make friends in this horrid school. You make one mistake, and suddenly you’re an outcast.” Bradley said, leaning on a locker. I nodded. “What did you do?” I asked, because I had no doubt that he knew of my… Problems… “I bought a gun to school.” My eyes widened.
“Don’t you normally go to prison for that sort of thing? Or at least get expelled?” I asked, dumbfounded. “I bought it for show and tell, the thing wasn’t even loaded. Alright it was loaded, but no one had to know that.” Bradley said, and I noticed that his accent was different from the other people in California.
“Anyways, after a lengthy explanation and apology, they just confiscated it and moved on.” Bradley shrugged. I still couldn’t wrap my head around it, but I moved on anyways. I thought that of all kids in the school, Dad might not be too pleased that I made this one. But I didn’t care, I still made a friend! Bradley started talking about how when he climbs a tree, you can’t even see him, when I heard people walking towards us.
I turned around to four faces. Four girls were just standing there, smiling at me. I didn’t know them, and I was trying to figure out exactly who they were when the one in front said, “Hi I’m Heather, and these are my friends, Dawn, Cali, and Erin.” She grinned at me.
Their fake smiles were making me uncomfortable, but the fact that I had figured out who they were was making me more uncomfortable. These girls were part of the popular group. I couldn’t even begin to fathom why they were talking to me. “All of your names are four letters except for yours.” I said, pointing at C D and E. I call them that because they always walked in that order, C D and E in a perfect little line behind Queen Heather. Then I realized what I said, just in case they didn’t think I was a complete lunatic. Heather giggled. “You’re funny. Why don’t you walk with us for a while?”
She motioned for me, and they started walking in their line. I went to look at Bradley, but it appeared he had fled the moment Heather came. So I fell into stride with the rest of them. After a few minutes, Heather sat down at a lunch table. I sat on the other side. “I know that you’re unpopular, but we want to help with that.” Cali said, looking at me like I was an idiot.
“The only reason for that is because of the first day.” I said, forcing my fingers to stop playing piano. “Yeah…” Heather said, briefly frowning at my fingers. “The thing is no one minds if the teachers hate you. The thing to work on is the kids.” Erin chirped in, flipping her red hair.
“We have the perfect idea for you to get popular!” Dawn squealed. My head was still reeling. Why were they helping me out? I decided that I was too quick to judge. The girls were probably genuinely nice. After all, who doesn’t want to say they're friends with someone British?
Heather suddenly got up and so did we. She walked down to the very end of a hallway, where there was a blue door. The sign on it said ‘Teachers only’. I gulped. Suddenly I wasn’t so keen on being popular. The girls looked around, and seeing there was no one around, Heather twisted the lock open on the door.
A whiff of must came up through the door instantly. I looked through the door. No wonder it was musty, the door had steps leading down to a basement “This is where they keep all of our confiscated stuff. No one has had the guts to go down there though. If you even get a few things, you’ll be a hero for the students.” Heather said softly. Cali whipped out a flashlight from who knows where, and handed it to me.
I had that feeling when something doesn’t feel right. But I took just one step forward, just to look down the stairs again. The four took advantage of that and slammed the door. I heard the lock click. I could hear them snickering. “You really thought we wanted to be your friends?” I heard D chuckle. “What a gullible little freak.” Heather sighed, and I heard them trot off into the distance.
I don’t know if it was good timing on their part, or just a coincidence, but a few seconds later, the lunch bell went off. Hundreds of feet stampeded the hallway, and I shouted and shook the door, but I wasn’t heard. Then it was silent. Everyone, or at least everyone that cared, was in class. I shivered and switched on the flashlight. I tip toed gingerly down the creaky wooden steps. The concrete basement was eerily silent, and I realized that the girls hadn’t lied about everything. Toys and gadgets, and all kinds of confiscated items were down in the basement. It was as if the teachers just threw them down there. I started searching for something, anything to get me out. I looked for a window, but there were none. I tried using my bobby pin to open the lock, but it didn’t work. I thought of just waiting it out, but that probably still wouldn’t help. If Dad sent out a search party for me, the basement of the school wouldn’t be the first place they would look.
That’s when I got my idea. Bradley had his gun confiscated. It was loaded. And it was here. I started searching through the piles. It took me all of ten minutes before my searchlight found a rifle, a rifle that was covered in camouflage. That made me smile. My Uncle Rob is a police man, and he once took me and my brother to his shooting practice. I learned two things that day. Guns are loud. More importantly, there is a technique to hitting targets.
I ran back up the stairs. Luckily, the crack next to the hinges poured some light into the area I needed to shoot. I breathed deeply. Uncle Rob said to always breathe calmly and slowly. He also said to take into account the wind. Not that that mattered, considering I was indoors.
I’d like to take a moment to pause. At this point you are probably wondering, what was I thinking? Well, the sorry truth is I wasn’t. That’s kind of another problem of mine. I don’t think before I act or speak. So no, I wasn’t thinking, what if the door collapses the wrong way? Or, how much trouble will I be in for FIRING A GUN AT SCHOOL? I sure wish I was thinking those things.
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