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The Good One

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Mr. Judge folded his hands and leveled a steady gaze on the young lady sitting before him. She was different than the sort who usually sat in that chair. Christine White sat with the self assured pose of a person who knew where she was going and how to get there. Her light blue sweater and long pencil skirt were attractive but tasteful. Her hands were folded in her lap and she stared back at him, not with insolence or rebellion, but with a calm, distantly polite expression, waiting.

“Now let me make sure I have this correct, Miss White. You saw Tiffini Cane attack Maggie Donovan?”

“Yes, sir,” her voice was quietly respectful of the authority he wielded.

“And when you saw this, you attempted to break up the fight?”

“I tried to restrain Tiffini.”

“And you succeeded, I hear.”

“I managed to walk her to the bathroom so she could cool down.”

“Why didn’t you call a teacher?”

Well, I didn’t really have time to think; I just knew I had to keep Tiffini out of trouble and getting her away from Maggie seemed the easiest thing at the time.”

“Why do you need to keep Miss Cane out of trouble?”

“She’s on probation. She can’t afford to mess up again.”

“That’s her problem, not yours”

“She’s my friend. Friends help each other.”

Mr. Judge scooted his swivel chair back and stood up. Christine’s eyes tracked his movements as he walked over to a metal filing cabinet in the corner and picked up two file folders sitting on the top. One was much thicker than the other. He dropped the thicker one on his desk with a loud whap. The other he opened and studied, perching himself on the corner of his desk.

“It says here that you are in several honors and college level classes, Miss White.”

“Yes, sir,” her voice was puzzled, a faint frown creased her brow.

“It also says that you’re involved in several extracurricular activities including yearbook, speech and debate team, and student congress.”

“Yes, that’s correct,” she confirmed, growing even more puzzled.

He set her file down and opened the one on the desk.

“Miss Cane is failing half her classes, spends more time than not in ISS, and is currently on probation.”

The confusion melted off Christine’s face, replaced by a glint of something icier.

“I’m not sure I understand where you’re going with this, sir,” there was a hint of sharpness in her tone, just barely discernable.

Mr. Judge closed the file and stacked it on top of the other one. He laced his fingers together and pursed his lips.

“I’m just suggesting, Miss White, that it might not be prudent for you to continue to associate with Tiffini Cane. You’re a very bright young woman, and I don’t want to see you being held back by a bad element. You understand,” he smiled kindly at her.

“Yes, I believe I get your meaning,” the ice in her voice was evident now, her expression rigid.

“Good,” Mr. Judge stood up, pleased with the wisdom he’d departed. “I believe that’s all, Miss White. Thank you for you cooperation.” He walked over to the door and opened it, inviting her to leave.

Christine stood slowly, gracefully. Her head held high at a proud angle, she walked through the door. She stopped just outside the threshold and turned to Mr. Judge. She was tall and met his eye as if she was an equal.

“Did you ever think, Mr. Judge, that rather than Tiffini holding me back, I’m helping her move forward?” With that she was gone, walking briskly down the hallway. A young lady who knew where she was going and how to get there.





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Inksplotch said...
Jan. 26, 2012 at 8:52 pm
This is amazing! I've had similar experiences as Christine. People are sometimes wondering why I associate myself with some of my "bad" friends. Anyways, this is amazing and shows my feelings on the subject perfectly. 5/5. Could you check out some of my work and rate/comment? I'd really appreciate it!
 
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