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She had a smirk oozing across her face. The slash of a near empty bottle of ketchup. Her hands were at her side, still clenched incase she decided I needed another lesson. The attention was on me now. You could almost feel the eagerness emanating from their pores. Oh, most of them weren’t that bad, but they laughed anyway. This was their theatre. They were the audience and I, the simple actor, equipped with the outline of my character but not handed a script. Amusement, nothing else. My face had adjusted to the bruises and ring shaped cuts. I think my nose was broken. The pain stole tears from my eyes that noncommittally slid down my face and dripped to the floor. They were my body’s reaction, not mine. The jeering began. So did the pity. Not that it mattered. I was ice. You know, it had taken years of layering to create my shield. The first wounds, the cracks, the weakness had all been remasked and recarved, filled in until their was not a single crevice that could be wormed into and exploited. My amour was complete. The girl was saying something.
“Chet Chet Chet. You never learn do you? Cheating is never so terrible until you get caught..”
She leaned forward and pushed me over. Her heel was placed on my stomach. A sneer on her lips
“and I have no intention of being caught again!”
She stepped over me and paraded off with her friends. One more phrase was tossed over her shoulder
“Men. Never do learn, do they?”
I am ice. A decent hand or two had helped my up and then vanished, the crowd gone. I collected my books, brushed off my binder, ran a quick hand through my hair, and headed to second period.


I had hit him. He was too helpless. He deserved it. Too small. But he did. He did. He was a rat. I smiled. This was a lesson. Snitches were terrible. Schools could only live if people minded only them and their own. Telling on Me! Like some fourth grader! How could he do that to anyone? He knew Mr. Polls reactions. I needed that quiz to pass. But he was so pale. No, I would not discriminate by his looks. A worm was a worm. Punishment should not be decided by size. I leaned in closer to him.
“Chet Chet Chet. You never learn do you? Cheating is never so terrible until you get caught..”
I shoved him to emphasize my point. It didn’t even seem like he was listening.
He was crying. He Should. I planted my foot on him and continued. He was to listen.
“And I haven o intention of being caught again!”
I walked off and joined Cindy and Terr. A thought occurred to me. Something about every problem in my life.
“Men. Never do learn, do they?”
I had won.





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