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“Woo!” The class woke up with that jungle yell. Where was it coming from? No one in Greenwood Correction Facility, for the boys who needed fixing, spoke above a whisper, and that was only to the teacher. Who could have the audacity to yell like that?
“Get your hands off me! I know where im going! B hall! See? B-HALL! I know where im at, now can you stop touching me?” That voice. That yell. That emotion. Who was it? Why didn’t Mrs. Nightshade stop it? This school wasn’t used to its students talking; the walls didn’t know how to process these alien noises. The teacher, a mousy looking one who talked in the whispery tone just like everyone else, looked at the door. Who was on the other side of it, what sort of animal? The door opened then, and he was standing there with two scared looking security guards behind him. The boy had blonde hair, cut in the short way that was required in our school, but it looked different on him. He was wearing the mandatory school uniform, but it looked different on him. He had the most striking blue eyes, so clear, and was standing with his hands on his hips, surveying the class. Everyone had their eyes down, just like we were supposed to except the teacher.
“Hello, you must be a new student.” he said in her soft whispery voice. The boy cupped his hand to his ear.
“Im sorry, what’d you say?” He asked.
“You’re new.” Again the teacher didn’t talk above a whisper, the way of the teachers here. It was supposed to be calming, but I remember my first days here it made me tense and angry. I didn’t need a calming voice, but now I thought different. It was the calming voice I liked, the quiet, and this boy’s loud voice was hurting my head.
“Yes, yes I am! My name is Sam, I am!” The boy laughed, actually laughed and the rest of the class was raised out of its stupor and looked up surprised. A laugh? In this school? In this hall? Those things just weren’t seen here! No emotion was the way but here this boy was, laughing and yelling! “No, its not. Im just joking with you! My names actually Dean.” The teacher nodded warily to the security guards. The whole class knew what this meant. Mrs. Nightshade was about to be summoned, just like how she was for me. She was always summoned to take care of the new ones, to make them comply with the rules and be the quiet, calm person she wanted them to be. We would only have a few more minutes with this obnoxious, real boy and we all savored these last moments with the taste of the outside world.
“So!” Dean turned to face the class, “Lets get this party started!”
“There will be no party.” The teacher said in his quiet voice, as if he just remembered he was the teacher here, not this audacious boy.
“Today, there won’t be. But tomorrow there might be!” Dean said, and then looked at the class as if we should laugh. But we weren’t used to and really I was wondering where Mrs. Nightshade was. This was too much. This boy expected too much. Everyone else in the outside world didn’t. My parents, the judge that sent me here, they all liked the new quiet me. I did to, it was a peaceful sort of life and really I didn’t mind the fact that I didn’t even know what day it was or who sat by me in class. I was even starting to forget my memories of my life outside of here, and only remembered my parents because of there visits. I lost my emotions of love and anger and instead gained calmness and peacefulness. This seemed ok and consistent and I wanted Mrs. Nightshade here to take away this loud boy who expected us to be real.
“What’s wrong with you retards? Wake up!” Dean yelled, starting to look confused and the fear was starting to set in. All of our eyes were staring at him, none of us were speaking, it didn’t even seem like we were breathing and none of us spoke. I didn’t care what was happening to this boy but I was remembering my first day at that school, not that long ago. 4 months, I was still a beginner and had to visit Mrs. Nightshade every 2 weeks to track my progress. But I felt cured already, and I hardly remembered how it was to be Dean.
“Mr. Rouse, shouldn’t our new student be seated already?” Ah, Mrs. Nightshade. It was time. Mr. Rouse, that was his name of my teacher that I had forgotten, nodded.
“Of course. Dean, please sit…” He stopped when he realized Dean wasn’t listening. Dean had turned and looked at Mrs. Nightshade, right in the eyes. As Dean was light, Mrs. Nightshade was lighter. Instead of having blonde hair, hers was as close to white as it could be and long. Long white blonde eyelashes rimmed her watery blue eyes, not as clear and striking as Deans, but murky and opaque so they looked translucent. They were eyes that could see things that weren’t always in front of her, they were seeing eyes. She was small and young, only being the principal as long as this school was open, which was 3 years. Dean was appraising her with his sky blue eyes, and Mrs. Nightshade looked back calmly.
“Dean?” Mr. Ruse said, his whispery voice interrupting the moment of clarification for Dean.
“Yeah?” Dean said, looking away and breaking eye contact.
“Yes.” Mrs. Nightshade corrected,” It is yes. And I believe Mr. Ruse was going to assign you to a seat so you can sit, am I correct?”
“Yes, yes of course. Please, have a seat next to William, over there.” The class sighed with relief as Mr. Ruse pointed to the seat next to me. Mrs. Nightshade appraised me with her murky eyes and gave a small nod. Dean made his way next to me and I tried to make myself as small as possible. I didn’t want to be noticed, called on or talked to. I wanted my own life; I wanted my consistent life without this shock of reality. I looked at Mrs. Nightshade pleadingly, when was she going to talk to Dean and change him? And she gave me another small nod, as if she understood what I had wished. Dean put his hand on my shoulder, hearing my silent conversation as he sat.
“Me and you, Willy my boy, are going to be great friends.” He clenched my shoulder hard,” I promise.”
“Dean, there is a strict no contact policy enacted at this school for obvious reasons. And if you are going to perform your sentence here effectively, then you must enforce the rules.”
“What are the obvious reasons?” Dean said, slouching in his seat and folding his arms. The class looked in front of them, not at Dean. They couldn’t be caught staring at this, lest it meant that they encouraged this kind of behavior. All of them like me, wanted our continuous silent life back, without this reality we all didn’t miss.
“Sit up, uncross your hands. This is a learning facility and I want you to have an open posture to accept these lessons.” Mrs. Nightshade said, in her same cool detached voice,” And the obvious reasons are, Mr. Winchester, that you are an infectious part of society. You are a disease, a parasite that lives on violence. You are here to be reformed, to be taken care of and taught the lessons of acceptable society. And if you devoid someone their personal space, which has the same parasite problem as yourself, then violence will occur and you will take two steps backward. You,” Mrs. Nightshade said, scanning the rest of the class who wouldn’t meet her eyes as she said the things we all heard numerous times, “All of you need help. Alone. If you begin to touch each other, even a simple pat on the back, it can lead to something more and may invoke violence. We are a no touching zone Dean,” And she smiled. When she smiled I felt the faint violent streak in me shriek,” you will learn that soon enough. The boys here are very violent and we don’t want any of you to get hurt.”
Dean smiled back, his angel smile lifted up my dead hopes,” Of course, Mrs. Nightshade. You do have our best interests in mind.” His smile remained on his face and Mrs. Nightshade flinched. The class didn’t notice it, their eyes were glazing over, going back to that dead asleep zone but I saw it. Mrs. Nightshade was challenged, and showed it. That couldn’t be possible but it was. My beloved principal, who has shaped me into a better less hating person, was challenged by a young kid! I desperately wanted to go back to half dead stupor but I couldn’t. I had to watch this. But I didn’t have to think about it. I could go away when it was done, and I will.
“That is correct, Mr. Winchester. And if you don’t mind, I would like to see you in my office at the end of the day to discuss your impression of my school.” Mrs. Nightshade said, her voice turning hard and losing the detached quality.
“I think were going to have a lot to talk about Mrs. Nightshade. Your school seems very interesting.” Dean said.
“I believe it is. Everyone here belongs Dean. Some of the boys here came with nothing but now they have themselves. Were a good school, Dean, and you‘ll realize that. They all do.”
I couldn’t take my eyes off of this real boy. In every class I had him in he would challenge the teachers, raise his voice and be heard. He wasn’t sinking down like the rest of us, becoming a sub human being, he was fighting. Even though his loud booming voice hurt my ears, I was beginning to get used to it. A small part of me prayed that Dean would never change, that he would always be this free spirit not tied down to the school. At dinner, silence reigned in the cafeteria. Dean was summoned to Mrs. Nightshade’s office to talk, and I hoped that she wouldn’t change him. I hoped with everything I had.
Dean walked into the office without knocking, sat in the chair without being asked, and folded his arms.
“Mr. Winchester, how do you like this school?” Mrs. Nightshade asked, her lips pouted in an angry way as she looked at Dean with piercing eyes.
“What are you doing to these boys?” Dean said, truly frightened at what he saw. These were delinquent boys, but they were acting like robots. They were sub human, not even close to how normal people were. This wasn’t training them to be real, this was hurting them. Even though Dean was as disgusted as he could be with the way this school was run, he didn’t want to leave. He knew he could change the boys, he knew he could lead them back to normalcy he just needed the chance.
“These boys are turning into great, functioning human beings. I am making them an acceptable part of society. Im teaching them in the way that the world works. The world doesn’t need talkers or fighters, the world needs people who listen and do what their supposed to do. The world needs obedience, not freedom. The world needs diligence not disagreements. I am training these boys in the way that they should be, I am making them into real citizens. And pretty soon, every single person will be taught like this, even if there are people who don’t agree.” Dean opened his mouth to argue but Mrs. Nightshade raised her hand,” Stop. It doesn’t matter what you say. I have decided to deport you; you will be headed to a different correctional facility. I realized that this place is not for you, you need something else.” Dean flushed red, hating this woman and everything she stood for. She saw a threat in him; she knew his ideas and wanted to prevent them. She was sending him away so she wouldn’t have to deal with him; she wasn’t strong enough to fight.
“Keep me here. Let me learn-“Dean tried lying but was interrupted.
“I know what you are Dean, and what you’re going to do. You are out of here; you will be nobody’s hero.”
I watched Dean walk out of the cafeteria, out of the front door with his suitcases in his hands and I felt my freedom my last piece of rebellion soar away. Before he opened the door, he turned and looked at us. The expression in his eyes was one of an old man who saw too much. Dean had grown up in this one day, watching us beaten boys. He shook his head sadly and I heard him whisper,’ Good luck’. For the first time in a long time, I felt real honest emotion. I felt despair. We were the lost boys, we were the forgotten ones. Now no one would be there for us anymore, no one to follow. We were all alone.