The freezer door wasn't supposed to lock behind him; it wasn't part of the plan. Yet, there the six of us were, feet planted firmly on the tiled cafeteria floor. We were more frightened than at any other moment in our lives. From behind the large metal door, Billy's fists were pounding against its surface, a failed struggle for some to come to his rescue. His cries of agony fell as muffled sounds on our ears for our laughter drowned it out. With bright red faces and chins coated with saliva we clutched on to our sides,trying to calm ourselves down. In that moment, we were just children, young, innocent, uninhibited children, who to the average adult could not be considered us incapable of what followed. Since age six, Billy had really bad asthma; the kind that could kill you if one got too excited. The beating began to die down and then the yelling. Finally, all we heard was a gasp and a loud thud, which seemed so powerful that it sounded all throughout the freezer. The laughter immediately stopped and one by one our faces slowly met, exchanging glances full of concern. Billy was gone. For the first time in my eleven years, I could honestly believe I saw Tommy, the toughest one in our group who prided himself on his bravado,shed a tear. Mandy looked like she was on the verge of becoming ill. All Billy wanted in this world was companionship, and instead all we did was take advantage of his naivete and punish him for his differences. It was a joke, a sick inhumane joke.
July 11, 2012