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Frye Versus Poletti
"Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?"
“Please take a seat." My very low high heels clacked loudly in the stark, white, silent room. The chair underneath me was hard and plastic, from what I could tell through my uncomfortable, formal clothes. I was no facing a room full of accusing glares, forwarded by a lady with cheap makeup and a man in a business suit.
“This court is now in order. Please proceed." The lady accelerated toward me. Her heels were lighter than mine were, yet much higher. She stopped around five feet from me and started to pace.
“Please explain what you were doing on November 11, 2009, in full detail."
“Okay, well..." My eyes darted from my crying mother and my serious father in the front row of the audience, awaiting my answer, to the lady asking the questions. Her coral colored lipstick cracked as her lips moved, and, under the fluorescent lights, her graying hair looked dull. I flashed toward the regal black robe menacing above me. It was awaiting my answer as well.
“Well, I was walking with Jackie up the stairs, and then I found Sam and started to walk with him."
“Where were you going?"
“To the library, for history...we were gonna do research for our research paper."
“And then what happened?" I was surprised I couldn't hear her lipstick cracking in the silence, which felt like death.
“Well, I was in the 800 wing, and me and Sam were talking. Jackie went to class already. And then I saw Brendan almost running, but I wasn't really paying attention to where he was going. When he came up to me I stopped, and I thought he was going to talk to me about him and Jackie, 'cause they just broke up." My eyes started to well with tears.
“And then what happened?" I wanted Cracked Lipstick to just shut up. My eyes blurred and I heard Business Suit shift in his seat. Black Robe was staring down at me accusingly, and someone coughed.
“Then...he pushed my shoulders, and I dropped my Spanish folder. It's purple." I was the Queen of Insignificant Details. My voice cracked as I began again, "When I went to pick it all up, he grabbed my shoulders and pushed me into the wall, and held me there when I hit it."
“Was anyone there with you?" Cracked Lipstick was still pacing, and it was getting annoying.
“What is your relationship to the plaintiff?"
“We're friends. I met her in ninth grade."
“Okay. Please explain what you were doing while said plaintiff was being harassed by the defendant."
“Well, I was walking with her, and when she stopped to talk to him, I did too."
“Why?" What I want to know is why Cracked Lipstick was questioning Sam. He had no part in this.
“I don't like to walk alone in the hallways." Cracked Lipstick nodded for him to continue. "And, when he first held her to the wall, I was, like, frozen, like, I didn't know what to do..."
“Then what happened?"
“I went up to them and told Brendan to...uh...'eff off.' He was too focused on Kaylee though, and he didn't notice. He was talking to her, and it sounded like he was, like, hissing while he was talking."
“What did he say?"
“Well, he told her to 'take those out,' and then she said 'What the hell, Brendan!' and was confused, and he let go of her and grabbed her hair. It was in pigtails. And he ripped the hair things out of her head. Then he put his hands on her again."
“She started crying, and people started stopping and watching. And some guys came over. They're juniors. They started to push Brendan off of her. When he wouldn't let go, one pulled her toward him, and one grabbed Brendan around the shoulders and pulled him off of her."
* * *
“What is your relationship to the plaintiff?" This time Business Suit was talking.
“She's in my math class. I sit next to her. We've never really talked though."
“Explain to me what happened when you intervened."
“Well I saw that guy rip her things out of her hair, and then I don't know, I just cracked."
“What did you do?"
“Me and my friend walked up to them and tried to get him away from her. When he wouldn't move, I grabbed her, since she knows me, and my friend grabbed the guy. He ripped her off of her. And she was crying."
“Then what happened?"
“Well, the guy started to walk away, and most of the people around us went to class. She turned to that guy who's her friend, and they walked started to hug. It was awkward." As I sat at the large, dark wooden table, both Business Suit and Math Boy looked over at me. Their glances were followed by Black Robe's and Cracked Lipstick's.
“What happened after you two hugged?"
“We went to the library and asked Mr. Keebler to go to guidance. He wasn't gonna let us go to begin with, but then he did, because Kaylee was crying. So we went and talked to our guidance counselor, who got the principal. When the principal came in, he asked us to show him where it happened, and we did. He found the hair things with her hair in them, and then he got security. They took us to this little room, which was black and full of TVs. The principal asked to see 'the one in the 800 wing before fifth period.' The older security guard put in a tape and it played back the whole thing. Then he took the tape out and the principal took us back to the guidance office, and the counselor made us tell him everyone's name. Kaylee was still sniffling, so I did it, except she had to tell them the guys who helped her names."
“Well, Mr. Keebler came in at the end of the period to see if everything was okay. When they showed him the tape, he looked like he didn't believe it. But Kaylee started crying again so he had to believe it. The he said sorry for not letting us go sooner and told her she had an extension on her paper, but mine was still due Monday. And he said that he would walk with us to the library for the rest of the week. But Kaylee was absent for most of it, and the one day when he did it was awkward." Business Suit nodded and Black Robe scribbled something down.
“Did rumors go around school about this?"
“Yeah, but I guess all the teachers knew what happened. At least the ones who have her. They would all say that it wasn't their business or something when someone asked them. Especially Mr. K."
“And what happened with the juniors, or with Brendan, during this time?"
“Well, the juniors met us in guidance after a while, but the people in there thought it would be 'unsafe' to bring Brendan in there at the same time, so they put in in ISS for a while, until she left. The guys didn't get any detentions or anything 'cause they were defending her."
“And what agreement did the school reach?"
“Well, now a teacher has to be with her whenever she walks to classes, and when she goes to the bathroom and stuff, she has to take someone, like a person in the class, with her. She can't leave the building without a parent there, and she has to come in with a parent and go to the office. The office sends whichever teacher is there that she knows with her until she finds someone she knows. But this was all until now, because they wanted to see what you guys would decide." Business suit nodded. "And Brendan got in-school, I think."
“Is there anything you have to say for yourself? All evidence proves you guilty." Business Suit pointed at the television screen, which was paused at the point where Brendan had his hands on my hair, and held up a baggie with the elastics from my hair from that day.
“Break-ups are hard." I looked at my lap. I couldn't bear the sight of that boy. I did see Black Robe jot something else down, though.
“No further questions."
“Defense?" Black Robe spoke for the second time in the past few hours. Cracked Lipstick nodded no, and looked at her lap. Brendan walked back to his respective dark table, escorted by a rent-a-cop.
“Well then, in the case of Kaylee Frye versus Brendan Poletti, I declare Poletti guilty of all charges, and sentence him to 36 hours of community service. Also, Frye must be escorted by at least one other person of stronger or larger stature at all times until January 1, 2010. If this does not work to the extent that Ms. Frye or either of her guardians deem necessary, a restraining order may be put into place. Court adjourned."