Jeff stretched his legs, already sick of detention. He drummed his hands on the seat in front of him, anxious to get out all of his energy. Mr. Estevez scowled at him and whispered a harsh chastisement. Jeff stopped and leaned back, putting his hands behind his head. As his eyes closed, the events of the day flashed in front of his eyes, bringing him back to why he was in detention in the first place.
Jeff woke up in the morning feeling terrible. He had terrible morning breath and he was starving. After a huge breakfast that his mother, Janine Turner, fixed for him. He had bacon from George Duncan's farm across town. That kid always spoke with such a hick accent at school that Jeff felt like sitting him down one day and giving him a stern lecture on not becoming a hick. This wasn't the South, even. This was up in the North, far from the hicks that Duncan seemed to be. He had some eggs from Lucy Young's farm over West of town. She was a geeky girl, always getting the best test scores in all of Jeff's classes. And she always had. Jeff speculated that she would end up as one of those female lawyer-types that never...
Jeff finished up breakfast and grabbed his Letterman Jacket and his bookbag. He hollered goodbye to his father and stepped out the door. He patted his kitten on the head and jumped off the porch, rolling into a run. He jogged the entire way to school, once passing that Gothic kid Cedric Marshall. Cedric always looked dark and wore black and had the whole makeup thing going on. Jeff thought that he looked ridiculous, but he never mentioned it to Cedric's face. He also passed Harold Kumanji, that Japanese kid who always had his head in a book. The kid never even looked where he was going. It was a small wonder Harold hadn't broken a nose already. Jeff could definitely see that happening.
Once he got to school, he waved to Mr. Jones and went to his class. He didn't listen to anything that Mr. Russell said in his first class. He moved on after the bell rang, trying to strut and look as powerful as possible. He saw his usual group of people to hang out with standing in a massive group in the hallway, mostly blocking it. Jeff ignored this and looked at his best friend Chip Fullman. He and Chip squated down and crossed thier outstretched arms and huffed and hooted and struck their arms against each other as they jumped up in the air. The entire group erupted in laughter and praise. Jeff gave Chip a big hug. He heard people throughout the gathered crowd ask him all sorts of rhetorical questions, like, "How's our big football star?" He finally moved on to his other classes. He didn't remember much from those classes either.
But then it was lunchtime. That was always Jeff's favorite time of the day. He loved to see the lunchlady, whatever her name was, sit up on her giant stool and oversee everyone getting their lunches. He went to the lunchroom, followed by a large group of people. Most of the group branched off, going in different directions of the lunchroom. Jeff understood this. Not everyone could sit with him all the time. He moved toward the lunchline, but found that he was out of money. He stood off to the side of the line, trying to remember some favors that he could call to get money for lunch. He remembered Harold Kumanji, and the giant favor that Harold owed him. Jeff looked around the lunchroom. At first he couldn't see him, but then he suddenly noticed that Harold was standing only a few feet away, also near the lunchline.
Jeff walked over and tapped Harold on the shoulder. Harold never liked that, for someone to touch him. Most of the time, Jeff didn't have a choice, because whenever Harold was stuck in a book, there was no retrieving him from there. Harold looked up with a sudden look of both fear and anger on his face. Jeff smiled. Harold took a backstep, bumping into the lunchline. He skittered forward, standing on the other side of Jeff from the line. He spoke, his voice cracking.
"What do you want, Jeffrey?" Jeff found the way Harold spoke amusing. He had never heard Harold refer to anyone in any form but the full and proper form. He smirked as he heard his full name, intrigued by the brainy guy.
"Do you remember that time that I lent you five dollars so that you could get that Klingon Bible?" Jeff said, leaning in conspriatorily. Harold's eyes opened wide. His face grew angry.
"I thought you agreed never to speak of that again, Jeffrey" His eyes darted from side to side as he looked to see who had heard Jeff's words. "You promised me that you wouldn't..." He said, his voice cracking again.
"I know, Harold, I know. I did promise, but I was just wondering if I could have my five bucks back. I need lunch money, and you owe me money anyway." Jeff said, trying to reason with Harold. Harold's already slanted eyes narrowed.
"You told me that that money was a gift, Jeffrey. Why are you suddenly wanting it back? Are you rescinding your gift?" Harold said, his voice a whisper.
"I just thought that you could give me the money back. You know, I scratch your back, you scratch mine kind of deal." Jeff said, running out of things to say. "I didn't know that a Klingon Bible was that big of a deal." Harold's face turned bright red, which was hard for someone like him to do. He threw down his bookbag by Jeff's feet and brought up his fists. Jeff was surprised by this sudden act of defiance. He held up his hands, trying to show Harold that he meant no harm. Harold charged at him, swinging his fists. Jeff jumped back out of the way, trying to avoid the flying fists. Harold ran forward, going straight, not compensating for Jeff's relocation. His foot hit his bookbag just as he pushed off with that foot. Jeff saw what was coming and reached out to catch Harold, but it was far too late. Harold flew over the top of the lunchline and onto all of the trays. Food went flying in every direction. Jeff got covered in it, and it made him upset. He went to go to the bathroom to get cleaned up, but Mr. Jones ran over and grabbed him by the arm. He hauled Jeff to the principal's office.
Jeff looked up at the principal and smiled. "It's not what it looked like, Dr. Henry!" He claimed, drawing insulting looks from the principal. The principal worked on the paperwork for quite some time, forcing Jeff to sit in the chair the entire time. This made Jeff miss his favorite teacher, Coach Jerome, for Physical Education. After Dr. Henry finished up the paperwork, he informed Jeff that he was to report to Detention directly after school. Ten seconds after that, the dismissal bell for the school rang. Jeff walked to Mr. Estevez's room, trying to keep from crying at his misfortune.
And so here he was, bored out of his mind. His eyes were only serving as mental projection screens, and he kept going over the days events, trying to figure out how he was going to tell his parents. Chip's parents were always cool about it when Chip came home with bad grades or Disciplinary Slips, but Jeff's parents always came down on him harshly for poor school performance, whatever manifestation that came out as. He would get grounded for this, no matter what he said. He was guilty before considered innocent. It was the worst day ever.
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