|Posted on November 26, 2010 at 1:28 AM|
“You gotta learn how to stand-up for yourself.” Rudy said when he closed the door.
Glen didn't reply.
Rudy then noticed for himself how cold it was when the arctic wind hit his face, “Christ, its cold as fuck out here.”
“It's eighteen degrees out.” Glen told him.
“What the fuck ever, it's too cold.” To which Rudy replied.
He took a step off of the wooden porch of their Eastpointe, Michigan home, a four bedroom ranch offering a single-story and a basement. The house was a brick home with white plating on the sides. But the Fletcher with a Halovitz and a Wagner home were one of the few Eastpointe homes on the street that lacked a garage, but only a paved path to the backyard with it's own shed at the far right corner that contained Glen and Sam's bikes and other tools and lawn care amenities that one could use from late March to early November, with two shovels from the snow that would show itself in Michigan in Mid-November to as far as the second week of April.
And snow was on the limited-size front yard, with it's sidewalk by the street and the street itself. They would have its two cars parallel parked. Nichole's 1997 blue Toyota Camry that was already started and Rudy's 1990 black Chrysler New Yorker, which was once his late mother's. Both Glen and Rudy were approaching the car, peering around their immediate environment. Each house on their block look just about identical, with a few homes that were larger that the normal size on the beloved Schroeder Street.
Glen approached the passenger side while Rudy walked around to the driver’s side with no regard of the approaching Ford Ranger that had to swerve around him. Upon opening the door, Nichole had exited the house wearing an elegant black coat and matching-color gloves with leopard cuffs around them. She wished them a good day at school as she stepped to her leased vehicle with some of the monthly payments being compensated by the Lords of SavMart. The tow of them didn't give too much thought to Nichole and Rudy continued on his morning (and sometimes early afternoon) routine by passing the unlock panel, allowing Glen to get in. Rudy started up the vehicle.
“We warming up the car?” Glen asked.
Yes, plus I'm waiting for your mom to go away.” Rudy replied while turning on the heat.
He sat and waited for his aunt to take-off, which that happened forty-five seconds later due to her grooming herself a bit. After her leaving, he reached into the back and pulled out a bottle of Cherry Coke that was frozen.
“Merry Christmas.” Rudy said while handing the present of cola and a carnival sin to the Book of Mormon.
Glen smiled, “Thanks, this will wake my ass up.”
“It's frozen as you can tell.”
“I'll take it. Besides, Mom said she called the school to watch me and call her if I buy pop from the vending machine. So this helps.”
Rudy laughed at that, “Bullshit. Even if she called the school, they are not going to give a fuck about some Mormon bullshit over all the fights they have to break-up at school each day.”
Glen didn't reply, but his cousin Rudy had a valid point.
Rudy shook his head, “I wouldn't worry too much about it. You have a Red-White-Blue right to drink Cherry Coke, Glen.”
He then pulled out a Nine Inch Nails CD from the CD holder that lay in the center of the dashboard of Rudy's crappy New Yorker with a tan interior. He put the car into drive, looked into his mirror for oncoming traffic while the beginning of Nine Inch Nails' 'Head Like A Hole' intro had started with Trent Renzor's voice and a bongo playing along with the words. No traffic was heading his way and Rudy merged into the center of Schroeder Street, heading south and towards Nine Mile Road. Glen started at the bottle of the frozen Cherry Coke after keeping it at the heat for about fifteen seconds. It didn't seem to melt worth a darn.
Glen looked at Rudy, “I saw mom going a different direction. I'm guessing she is trying to catch me in the act.”
Rudy chuckled, “No, she is going to pick up someone before she goes to work.” Rudy assured.
“Well, how do you know?”
“I overheard her telling Owen yesterday about someone at work whose car is in the shop. Just don't be a puss, if it's drinkable now, drink it.”
Glen took another look at it, “Nah, I'll wait until it melts a little. Besides, at least our school has heat. I think you're right thought, I don't think security is going to give a shit if I buy pop on campus.”
At the drivers side of the windshield laid a sticker stating 'EastSide High School' then a large '98-99' below that, and beneath that number to finish it off was 'Student Parking.' That sticker allowed Rudy access to EastSide High School's south parking. Above that sticker was one allowing unlimited access to a park in Ohio on the years 1993-94, courtesy of his late mother. After nearly a minute of waiting, the traffic light had finally turned green. Although a no-turn on red sign was up on the right of them, Rudy could care less of that and would have made his right turn anyway. But, due to barely any breaks in traffic for that minute in a half, he couldn't squeeze himself out of there.
“So, how come you're up so early?” Glen asked.
“Shut the fuck up.” Rudy replied.
“I'm not trying to be like Mom & Dad, I was just asking.”
Rudy looked at Glen, “You call Owen dad?”
“Mom wants me to.”
Rudy took his attention to the road, “Don't call Owen Dad. He isn't your father.”
Glen also looked onto the road as well, “Okay.”
Nine Mile Road between the major roads of Gratiot and I-94 had its essentials. For a town of Eastpointe which consisted of nearly Forty-Thousand people, one would know best that Nine, Mile Road, a major Eastpointe road, had a Gas Station or two at every half-mile and a convenience or party store within every couple of blocks. Other consistencies would be a couple of fast food joints that stood close to Schroeder Street and within walking distance of the Fletcher home.
Everything else was rather small industrial buildings, a four-story professional center closer to the high school, which that center was arguably the tallest building in Eastpointe. A few strip malls, a franchise oil change place, couple churches, used car lots and other commercial entities one could name that attempted it's fate in Eastpointe, a middle-class town starting to faultier in it's status. Nine Mile was a mile north of the infamous Eight Mile road. It was the physical border of Detroit and the two-mile border of Eastpointe and any other town that bordered it from the north and as local popular culture would suggest it, a social border between blacks and whites.
People walking on the sidewalks of Nine Mile were mostly High School kids who didn't have the privilege of a license due to Michigan's tougher driving restrictions on teens or otherwise did not have a vehicle to drive. In a day as frigid as this, students would suit up well with a winter hat on. However, Glen could say that a good majority, if not half, of the students were highly influenced by urban culture, or as Glen would define it, the majority or half of the kids were ‘White kids trying to be black.’ Something Glen had to face each and everyday when going to school, white kids ripping off black culture. And that could be told by the style jackets they wore. Pro-team and college-team warmers, mostly consisting of the North Carolina Tar Heels logo in which the coats were a shade of blue and white. Most of these proud-to-be-wigger types went without a winter hat or ear protectors. One could guess that they can be taken away from them for a game of keep away.
And they all traveled in packs of four or more. If one were to mess with one in the pack, they will have to answer to all in the pack. All of the teenagers you’d see walking on that section of Nine Mile Road were heading west, any of them heading east would be skipping school, which Glen would see everyday whether he would be lucky to get a rid from Rudy, or if he walked.
And he would be glad too get a ride from Rudy. Not only he could avoid potential insults or ass-kickings, he would also avoid the cold. The insults would come up against his will; it would usually be by a pack of kids who tried the route of having a hard reputation. It was almost guaranteed that he would be insulted if the pack contained one or more girls. The ass-kicking part was most times by choice. That would be summoned if Glen were to insult someone from the pact, next to have one or more of the kids with the serious urge to gain respect catch up with him, whether he decided to make a run for it or not. A few times, he was able to outrun the aggressors of the pack, and most times the out-runned would consist of over-weight or otherwise out-of-shape kids.
However, regardless if he had talked back to a cliché of kids or not, he could not outrun the track stars or the athletic kids who played in the teams football, basketball or baseball and had a bad ass reputation to keep and avoiding the expense of being suspended with also the loss of playing ball due to the fact that the beating did not happen in school grounds. As long as a concerned walker or a Eastpointe Police officer who took his job seriously (which was very few) was a witness, they could get away with the crime.
Even if Glen were to go to the authority if EastSide high to rat them out, there isn’t too much they could or want to do. First and foremost, it would have to happen on school grounds for a suspension or a push away from playing ball. Second, the authority and much of the faculty staff were seriously under-paid. Unless Glen had to take a trip to the hospital, a investigation would be intact and you could guarantee the culprit would be suspended or expelled, but the EastSide School District would breathe a sigh of relief on the very idea that this incident did not happen on school grounds. They would lose over $6,000 the state of Michigan pays at the end of the year if the student was expelled, opposed to the much-larger number of money they would lose if the incident happened on school grounds.
With a underpaid faculty staff and senior staff counting down the days of retirement while giving up on a student body as a whole that consisted of a GPA under two points and dropping, something EastSide High and the district often denied, a young man like Glen who cared passionately about his education and his personal security would have to watch out on his own in both perspectives. Besides the very idea that he often got his ass kicked and handed to him, he would worry about him going to a low-rate school would hurt his choice of college chances.
EastSide High School stood its ground at the corner of Nine Mile and Gratiot, whit a small strip mall that went before it. The main entrance faced a side street and the address would confirm that. The school had two main entrances, the Nine Mile entrance is where arguably the rough kind of kids entered and the side-street entrance in which Rudy and Glen entered was the more peaceful one. That attributed to the very idea that most of the students with vehicles used that entrance, and the majority of them were of the higher two grades being Junior and Senior.
Besides EastSide High with it’s low GPA among all students compared to all schools in Michigan or even South Eastern Michigan, it was also had one of the highest drop-out rates if one could take the lowly Detroit Public Schools off the list. And a majority of the students who didn’t stay on task to keep up with the lower standards EastSide High had to offer would usually drop out at there Sophomore year, with a few saying screw you to a education before making past Freshman status. The average junior and Senior of EastSide would not act a fool, but a few bad specs, like Rudy for instance, would surpass the filter. But with Rudy around, Glen would not have to fear hell. His protection was there.
Rudy had to take a Michigan-Left Turn from Nine Mile to Gratiot, passing Nine Mile and the plaza afterwards. The entrance to the minimum security prison of Eastpointe’s mostly delinquent high school students with its few bright students having to deal with them, Glen was the few of the few that had a security guard that watched over him, only when he showed up to school that is.
Rudy entered the parking lot to see many parking spots at the far end of the school available, but he wanted a closer spot so that would lessen his time outside in the bitter Michigan cold. He saw a open spot just in front of the school and was about to calm it, until a old 1970something red Ford Escort with plenty of rust to go around had taken that spot quickly. The driver of that vehicle was a dark blond haired woman who was familiar to both Glen and Rudy.
“Fuckin’ Mrs. Reed.” Rudy said ruthlessly, next to slam his fist into the steering wheel. Mrs. Reed shut off her vehicle and pulled that cigarette out of her mouth. She slowly exited the Escort, gave a quick and faint look to Rudy in his New Yorker. She was past fifty. What was worse, she had noticeable bags under her eyes one could see even at a mile away.
“Fucking bitch.” Rudy added as he turned over too see no traffic behind him. He continued, “Dumb broad has fucking bags under her eyes.”
“I can tell.” Glen added, not looking back but forward, seeing Mrs. Reed walk to the main entrance.
“It’s the reason why I don’t come to school early in the morning. I have to see that aging whore at my first hour.”
“I have her on my third. One day, she kicked half of the class out.”
“I’ve been kicked out of her class each time I go.”
“That’s probably why she took your spot.”
Rudy had backed into a empty parking lot at the far end; he did a precise parking job with his New Yorker parked perfectly between the lines. The two exited.
“No, because she’s a bitch who expects a bunch of fucking idiots to jump over her hoops and abides by her high standards.” Rudy said after closing his door.
Glen was about to respond to that, but Rudy interrupted when the cold North Wind hit him.
“God dammit, it is cold as hell out here.”
The two of them walked side-by-side to the main entrance of the high school built in 1932, with thee interiors of the school appearing that they haven’t been re-updated since then.
“What’s you current glade in English?” Glen asked.
“Uhh… I don’t know, probably flunking.” Rudy replied.
At the north end of the parking lot was a four foot brick wall painted white that announced without words the properly line that separated the strip mall next door from school grounds. Therefore, if a student were to be caught doing something wrong such as smoking or fighting, they would have to fear a school suspension. The EastSide High School law doesn’t state such a ruling, yet. The wall had a small five foot gap in the middle where a student could enter. Glen saw three male freshman students that he had a least a class with. All three of them poured stares onto him with tow of the boys smoking.
“What the fuck are you freshman faggots looking at?” Rudy asked.
The three dropped the stare down. Ordinarily, if Glen was by himself, he would best not to say anything to those three who often stayed at that spot. All three had that hard reputation to keep; they were friends with Leland King, the ringleader of the E.P. Thugz.
The Eastpointe Thugs and the idea of them being called a gang would be a joke among most residents of Eastpointe ages sixteen and up. However, for people like Glen who have no choice but to accept that the Eastpointe Thugz were not joke. To who were not privileged to have many friends, often defined as ‘Nerds’ in popular culture and ‘Fags’ by the Thugs.
The rulebook, if any, was set by Leland King, a sophomore at the same age of Rudy’s who was suppose to be a Junior, but spent two years as a freshman. The exact number of people associated with the E.P. Thugz, whether they were considered ‘full-time’ members or just plain ole’ people who keep there ears open of possible blasphemy against the crew, was unknown while the actual count wasn’t important. But quite a few freshman males that made the majority were a good double digit number. Some people were very important to Leland King while others were hoping to befriend with him so they can get protection and/or not to be put down as fags. It was like that Rush song Glen loved too death and it explained EastSide High’s pressure issues, ‘Conform, or be cast out.’ Subdivisions, a song made in 1983, fifteen years later, it had a home among Glen.
Rudy and Glen finally made it to the side-street entrance. The heat from the registers had given Rudy a warm welcome. The two walked from the doorway with Rudy’s move inside slower than Glen’s, for he rather stay by the registers.
Glen looked over and asked, “Why the hell are you standing there? Are you thinking of skipping?”
“Nah, it’s just warm over here.” Rudy said, a few more students unfamiliar to Glen had walked inside.
“Well, I’m going to the cafeteria. I was trying to enjoy my breakfast this morning until fuckface ruined it all.”
Rudy chuckled at Glen calling his little brother a fuckface, “You’re right, I can’t believe he put metal in those Nerf arrows.”
“Yeah, I bet Garret Blanchard taught him that trick.”
“Myra’s little brother?”
Rudy shook his head, “Nah, probably not.”
“I can’t believe she is in my second and six hour classes.”
“Isn’t she the same grade as you?”
“No, she’s a sophomore. It’s fucked-up that in some of my Freshman classes have Sophomores or even Juniors in them. Drew Johnston is in my Math Class.”
Rudy smirked, “That fat fuck?”
“What are you in, Algebra?”
Rudy chuckled, “What a dumb fuck.”
A few more students had entered, bringing in the cold air.
“Jesus Christ, I can’t warm the hell up here.” Rudy said when the students were closing the door, he looked at Glen, “I guess I’ll join you for breakfast. At least I can eat cereal here that your mom frowns upon.”
And the two moved into the school’s main lobby. The lobby was built in 1932, just like the school, and yet, it hasn’t been updated to 1998’s standards. Like the lobby, most of the school looked the same way since the mid-seventies, otherwise, a student of EastSide High some thirty to forty-five years previously could walk in and say that things pretty much looked the same since. Walking into EastSide High was walking into a time warp with modern-day students. Old signs were made in the late-sixties to early-seventies that pointed to the essential rooms were still intact, such as the main office, the gymnasium, cafeteria, counselors and assistant principals offices, computer lab surprisingly, and the nurses’ office. ‘Modernized were not’ could very well be the theme to EastSide High.
Glen lead the way down the very hall that lead to the cafeteria which only contained a door to the boiler room and the janitors office. The two entered the large cafeteria with a large hallway towards the left of the two in which many students would hangout at before first hour starts. Rudy followed Glen until he spotted a girl he was trying to swindle over and broke his line too walk towards her.
“Katrina.” Rudy said her name in a mellow but exciting tone of voice. Glen heard that and saw his cousin walk towards a skinny and slender female with a shade of make-up on, with blue eyeliner and black hair with pigtails that were colored pink. She stood five-foot-four with a heavy black coat on opened with a t-shirt of the German Metal band Rammstien, with a tight pair of black jeans to cover those sexy legs she probably had under the pants. A lovely Gothic girl indeed and something Rudy had, and something Glen wouldn’t mind having. Rudy approached Katrina who opened her arms with a smile on her face. They connected with a kiss and Rudy squeezed her bony body.
A bewildered Glen who had the inconvenience earlier to hear his mother slobber over her boyfriend turned his head the opposite way and to the hallway that lead to his first hour class, Algebra, with the lovely Ms. Violet. However, what caught his eye was Drew Johnston, that fat fuck Rudy was talking about earlier. The tall but plumped Drew with a head of brown hair and many freckles on his face. Although Drew rarely wore any t-shirts of any insignia suggesting the good half of EastSide High's males that dress mainly in Fubu or other brands similar, he was more-or-less affiliated with the E.P. Thugz. In fact, two people who were a part of Leland’s crew stood next to drew.
The two of them wore sports jerseys, the taller, named Rob Watkins who is now in his second year of being a freshman wore the NBA’s own Portland Trail Blazers jersey with a white t-shirt under it. He was fairly responsible for making Glen’s sixth hour class dreadful. The six-foot-one muscle head who could play basketball very well would seldom taunt Glen by insulting him or otherwise throwing small objects such as paper wads or even staples or even chewed gum.
The other boy was Freddy Tate, wearing a San Diego Chargers jersey from the NFL. He was actually shorter than Glen, standing a five-foot-three. Glen when seeing Freddy in the halls or in his Third and Fifth hours would always wonder how a small little kid, who just happened to be a freshman in high school with a voice suggesting that he hadn’t grown his first pub as of yet, would somehow be able to win the respect of the vicious Leland King. Two possibilities, he bribed him or continuously bribed him or he gave or still gives the top charter members of the medium-sized school gang blow jobs, Glen smile at that second possibility that ran through his mind.
At the other end, Drew, Rob and Fred saw that short freshman wearing a t-shirt of some faggoty rock band looking at them with a sneer. How dare he look upon them with disrespect.
“What the fuck is that faggot looking at?” Rob asked in a furious voice.
“Why don’t you go up there and kick his ass like you did a couple of months ago?” Fred asked him without breaking his stare down to Glen, his voice suggested that he hadn’t gone thru puberty just yet.
“Because Rudy Halovitz is over there.” Rob replied.
“Rudy and Glen are half-brothers or some shit. I’ll go beat his ass later. He’s in my sixth hour.”
“Yeah, that faggot is in my math class.” Drew said. His voice was quite high and didn’t quite match the kind of persona he tried to show others.
“Who? Rudy or Glen?” Rob asked while looking at him.
“Glen. He’s in Algebra, motherfucker is smart.”
“Yeah, he’s also a faggot who hides behind his fuckin brother for protection.” Freddy added.
“Fuck his half-brother. Rudy Halovitz is just some fucking faggot who dressed like a goth because he thinks he is so cool.” Drew said, next to give Glen further down the hallway the double-middle finger salute.
“Let’s see if he can bring Rudy over here, I’ll beat his fucking ass like a little bitch.” Drew added.
At the other end, Glen saw Drew Johnston flip him off, with Rob Watkins showing a gang gesture with Freddy Tate doing the same just seconds afterward. Glen shook his head at the and walked over to his cousin and bodyguard., Rudy. He knew that anyone from the hardcore E.P. Thugz would not lay a finger on him with Rudy by his side.
Glen looked over to Rudy and Katrina, hearing the two of them speak, he walked over to intervene.
Both Rudy and Katrina looked over, Katrina’s smile faltered to a peasly frown.
“I’m hungry as shit, I’m gonna eat.”
“Need some cash?” Rudy asked.
“No, mom gave me some money for lunch.” Rudy then pulled out a five-dollar bill and handed it to Glen, “get-yourself another Cherry Coke.”
“Ah, cuz you’re the best. Want me too get your something? You said that special K didn’t fill you up.”
Katrina turned her head to Rudy, “You eat Special K?”
Rudy smiled and looked at her, “My Aunt is a Mormon, you can’t eat certain kinds of cereal or drink pop.”
“Mormon? You a Mormon?”
“No, I’m not Mormon. My aunt,” then he pointed to Glen, “his mother is a nasty-strict Mormon.”
Katrina grew that smile back and looked to Glen, “No shit, you’re a Mormon?”
Glen shook his head, “Not anymore.”
She asked Rudy, “Mormons are those people that go door-to-door and shit? No wait, those are Jehovah’s Witnesses.”
“They are both the same thing basically.” Rudy said.
“Well, the both of them go door-to-door, but they believe in different things.” Glen began to explain, he did have Rudy and Katrina's attention, “Jehovah’s Witnesses think only a limited number of people got to heaven, like a hundred and fifty-thousand or something like that. They go door-to-door and try to convert people into there bullshit and also try to reserve them a spot into heaven.”
After Glen’s poor explanation of Jehovah's Witnesses vs. Mormonism, it appeared to him that Katrina didn’t find that information worthwhile. He could tell by the fake smile she had on her face, he sure wasn’t getting to her the way he wanted.
“Augh, C’mon woman. Give the guy some credit.” Rudy said, “This guy is a fucking genius.”
Katrina nodded, “He is,” then she asked Glen, “Are you a freshman?”
Her smile dropped, “Oh.”
Glen knew it, he was a freshman and this sophomore or higher class woman looked down on the stupid freshmen with disdain. He wanted to say something to comeback to that, he really would. He could think one out loud.
“Well, what grade are you in?” Rudy asked.
“I’m a sophomore.” She said proudly without that smile.
He really wanted to say something insulting; it played in his mind, ‘So why do you hate freshmen so much? I don’t think you’re fucking smart enough to skip the ninth grade cunt, you were once a freshman too.’
But his bravery to spew that out wasn’t there, so he asked Rudy, “You want something to munch on? I’ll go get it.”
“Nah, the Special K worked for me.”
“Alright, can you give me a ride back home from school?”
“I dunno, cuz, if it’s too hot here, I may skip during lunch hour.”
Glen nodded, “Okay, thanks for the cash.”
Glen headed towards the small line-up were a small rectangular industrial fridge stood at the center of the cafeteria. Next to it was a woman with a cash register taking the pay. The line was small, only containing five people when Glen made it six. Two people in front of him were another good pal of the famous Leland King, his name being Ralph O’Neal. A white standing six-foot-one, wearing a black T-shirt featuring Tupac Shakur. The line moved slowly due to a semi-retired lunch lady taking her time making transactions and giving people who want to break a five or a ten a speech on how she was not going to do so. Ralph did the same thing when approaching her with a ten and he got bitched at. However, he walked away after she ran her mouth for two seconds. Usually, breaking change was for the pop machines that do not accept five dollar bills.
Glen bought himself a small box of Cheerios, a small carton of milk and sat down at a table consisting of the smart kids. He did notice at a few tables near the lunch lady was the table that Leland King sat, with many of his pals and associates, whereas Glen avoided eye contact when he passed them by. On the opposite side of tables is where Glen would find refuge in, a table of smart freshman. Smart ones or for the others who wouldn’t dare to sit at the same table of a cliché that may frown upon them at the least, to getting a beating at the worst. Glen looked at the clock while poring the Cheerios & Milk into the small polythemulate bowl. The little hand was reaching for the eight while the big hand stood above the nine. Class was going to start at eight. He had plenty of time to east that small bowl of cereal and get to class on time, but he wanted to sit down and enjoy it.
“Glen!’ said a voice that hit his left ear.
He looked tot hat voice to see a busy black-haired kid at around his age and size, wearing glasses. Just like Drew Johnston; he had a face full of freckles.
“Allen.” Glen identified him.
Allen sledded himself over to Glen, “Cheerios?”
“No, it’s Cheerios.”
“I just said that.” Allen said with his distinctive voice. Glen would not consider Allen a major friend or a line of support. In fact, in friendly ways if one would consider it, he seldom insulted Glen from time to time. Allen Emory was in his first hour and seventh hour. He sat behind Allen in his first hour, for Allen during the times when Ms. Violet was not lecturing the class would turn over to take a look at Glen’s work, providing some unnecessary comments or questioning his work. That personally annoyed the hell out of Glen. But like his times dealing with anyone affiliated with Leland King, he would never say he was annoyed to tell him to shut up.
“Hey, did you finish that assignment?” Allen asked.
Glen took a spoonful but didn’t down it, “What assignment?”
“Page 147, even numbers only?”
“Yes, I did.” Glen said after he ate his spoonful.
“Can I see it?”
Glen dropped the spoon into the bowl of Cheerios and put his book bag on the table. That voice in his head was saying that Allen Emory didn’t deserve to ‘see’ his paper. It was because Allen wanted to copy answers. Yes, Allen was also a school nerd. However, he was troubled with high-school mathematics. When he needed his answers, the smart guy was right behind him and also at times sat on the same table as him. Also his discommode towards Glen was not much of a problem besides of his cousin Rudy Halovitz who may have a little talk if Allen said the wrong words.
Although Rudy was an avid school-skipper and likely to drop-out of school soon, he didn’t want to make a threat. Perhaps it was going good for him anyway, Glen would easily hand it over. He opened the old Algebra textbook with the assignment as his bookmark. He pulled it out and kindly handed him his paper. Allen was in poor condition, unlike Glen’s. Most textbooks issued by the school were made in the eighties. At times, one would be issued a textbook made in the late seventies. One would be so lucky to see a textbook made in the nineties. Glen’s row of textbooks was made in the eighties with the close call of his Science-subject textbook, copyrighted in 1980.
Allen scanned thru his own issued Math textbook to 146-147, seeing the problems and still public domain picture on the bottom left of 146 of school kids in the early eighties appearing as they are dancing around a cassette stereo player.
“You see that picture?” Allen asked.
Glen was trying to scoop the last bite of Cheerios into his mouth with that question eluding him slightly, “What?”
Glen was confused, “What picture?”
Allen lifted the top of the book up and pointed the picture to Glen, “They give us these old crappy textbooks.”
Glen finished his bite of Cheerios, “I know.”
He tossed the spoon into the bowl and proceeded to the closest trash bin that was at the center of the cafeteria, all big trash bins were all in a row of six. After throwing his contents in the garbage, he had noticed at the opposite side of the cafeteria and two rows at the right of him was a table where a slew of female students of all classes freshman to Senior. One would pass judgment could classify them as the ‘smart girls.’ Some were good-looking, had healthy bodies and a good set of hair while the other some had pounds on them or just didn’t appear attractive to Glen’s standards.
At the very end of that table sitting by herself was a Renee Santiago, a Latina freshman who happened to be in Glen’s third-hour English class and currently ranked number one in the class rank, ahead of Glen who is second place. She had long black-hair and brought that Latin beauty along with her to share in the Midwestern United States. She shared the equality of Glen’s to do well in school, even with the assholes floating around, but he would agree that men have to defend there pride better than woman. She was there, sitting and reading her English Textbook and apparently doing an assignment. Could he walk up there and say something? Could he? No… that wouldn’t be a good idea. He looked away for a few seconds towards the table where a sitting Leland King and many kids male & female wearing pro-team knock-offs or T-shirts of Nike, or Rap & Urban Rhythm and Blues artists.
Glen did look Leland in the eye, but his mind was somewhere else. He was thinking of going up to Renee to talk to her, but to avoid any embarrassment, he could talk to her at his third hour class. But due to how far they sit and due to Ms. Reed’s standards in class, perhaps that couldn’t be done. He was leaning towards the idea of walking up to her and giving it his best shot.
“What the fuck are you looking at, faggot?” Said a furious voice from a young white male attempting to sound more like an African-American with an ostantaneous attempt to sound hard.
Reality set in, he saw most of the people sitting at the table staring a hole though him, some had smiles while the others had faces of anger written all over it. Yes, staring at Leland King or his gang could constitute a beating, if lucky, you’d just be insulted.
Glen broke his misunderstood stare and looked towards Renee, who apparently did not hear the insult, but a select few in that table did, they also stared holes into him. He did a 180 and headed towards his table he was frequenting at. Along with hearing the word faggot twice following each other hitting his left ear, first from a male voice, next to is followed by a female voice. He walked back to his table, seeing Allen point and laugh at him. Glen shrugged it off and sat back down.
However, Allen continued the imprudent laugh and asked, “Why the hell were you just standing there staring at them?”
It was straight indigence; Glen was staring at that table of people but wasn’t exactly trying to create a problem and merely thinking of approaching Renee Santiago.
“I remember when Rob Watkins kicked your ass after school a couple of months back. He beat the hell outta you.” Allen added to the bad streak that has started his school day. First, his thought process got him into possible trouble with the Flagrant E.P. Thugz; next to hear from Allen Emory, someone Glen is kind to allow him to copy his answers in his math assignment and later to be insulted by him.
The image of an angry Rob Watkins attacking him with his fist in science class. This beating had plenty of witnesses which also included Allen Emory. Not to mention many people from the famed E.P. Thugz with cheers and encouragements. That fight was finally broken up by guards shortly thereafter, making the end result of Glen lucky enough to leave without an embarrassing black eye, but a fat lip for damage results. In the good side of the balance sheet, after Rob came back from his three-day suspension, Rudy had a welcoming gift by giving him a black-eye with no interference at all from any person representing the EP Thugz minus Rob’s girlfriend Daisy Chase screaming at Rudy to stop. Glen had that advantage over all the bullied freshmen who attended EastSide high, he had an older brother or cousin who was feared by many.
Glen looked over to Allen at the same time the four-minute warning bell had signaled. He sat back up to see he had his math assignment still. He felt like an idiot to let him borrow his paper for him to copy.
“Hey, can I have my math paper back?” Glen asked.
“Uh… I’m not done with it yet. I’ll give it back to you before we have to hand them in.”
“We have to hand them in ten minutes after class starts, just give me my paper back.” Glen demanded.
“I’ll give it back to you before we have to hand in our assignment, just let me borrow it, I’ll give it back.” Allen retaliated.
Glen saw his paper closer to him and further from Allen. He could just take his property back; his mind was telling him the same.
“Look, give me the paper back… before we turn in our assignments.” Glen agreed.
“Okay.” Allen said with a smile, he moved Glen paper towards him and sat back down and copied it down.
Glen felt like a complete idiot for allowing him to do this. He had his chance but didn’t take it. That mutual feeling of being had by the one’s own gullibility made its way though him as he put the white flag up and walked away. While doing so, he made no eye contact with anyone sitting at the table filled with the prison gang known as the Thugz, but he heard Freddy Tate’s high-pitched voice call him a pussy. He walked out of the cafeteria. He saw that Rudy was nowhere to be seen as the hallway was cleaning with students heading to their lockers or classes. Since Glen already had his Math textbook with him at the least, he could get an early run to the room. His locker was closer to his second hour class.
After going to the second floor of the school and waiting in line by the door of his first hour math class, he was greeted by a plumped male sophomore who wore a Pantera T-shirt, “Rudy’s brother?”
“Cousin.” Glen corrected.
“Hey, your cousin says you’re smart, do you have the answers for 147?”
Glen shook his head and puffed.
The plump Pantera fan dropped the smile, “What the fuck, dude?”
He did read it as Glen was trying to down on him with disdain, which wasn’t the truth.
“It’s a good thing that Rudy is your cousin, or else I’d kick your freshman ass.”
“No, it’s not that…”
The over-class man threw his arms up with the binder being held with his right hand,
“Then what is it?”
Glen looking thru his index of possible answers, most of them was likely not going to be approved by this fat bastard, even if his answer was the truth. Ms. Violet, the young math teacher had approached with her keys out, “Good morning.” She said with a bright smile on her face.
Ms. Violet could put some peace of mind into the faltering school body, or at least in Glen’s mind. Whatever piece of mind she brought, it could contribute that she was young and good-looking. Glen knew her age of Thirty-Three. She was tan-skinned with long black hair and seemed to have some oriental into her. A smooth face and a slender body to go along with that piece of mind that it brought and also one of the people (or things) Glen and many male students jacked-off to while thinking of her. She wore a plain green dress shirt with her leather coat folded over her left arm, with her left hand holding her leather gloves. With her right, she took the right key and insert it into the lock. The door opened.
With a quick chuckle to start, Ms. Violet said, “Sorry guys, I’ve got to stop being late for school.”
Glen and the over-class man laughed at her joke. She allowed the two the right away and Glen entered first, turning on them light. Ms. Violet hung her coat on her beige chair by her desk opposed to the coat hanger that was t the corner closer to the door.
“It’s pretty chilly outside.” Ms. Violet added as Glen and the over upperclassman were on the ways to their respective desks.
“Yes, it’s bone-chilling cold.” Glen added.
Ms. Violet laughed at that quip, followed by the other student as they both sat on there desks and waited. There were a row of six desks by six. Thirty-six all together, cheap and small. Ms. Violet finally settled down and walked in front of her desk, “hey, how about you two give me your homework assignment right now.”
The other student pulled a paper out and walked towards Ms. Violet with it. He said earlier that he needed Glen’s answers, but why does he have a paper? Maybe he wanted to compare his answers with him. Glen saw his paper as he walked to pass it to her; it appeared he did at least some of it.
“Thank you, Steve.” She then turned to Glen, “What about you Glen? You have your homework done?”
No, he doesn’t, Allen Emory does. He sure was hell was wrong this time.