Caught Red Handed

February 18, 2009
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This is the 7th time this year that my sister and I have been sent to the principal’s office at the rundown public school we have gone to for all our lives.

“Come on! You don’t want to make His Majesty wait,” she said.

I laugh. My feet drag on the tile floors covered in old gum and litter, which I suspected we would have to scrape up as punishment, for whatever it is my sister and I did this time. I think I know every corner of that disgusting multicolored floor, each tile scraped and scuffed in patterns. The walls are colorful with the dented lockers, which are too small for any books. The ceiling holds the flickering bulbs by a thread, and fliers and pamphlets scattered about the entire vicinity of the hallway.
My sister walks a few paces in front of me. We both look like we always look: tired, bored, and sweaty. Our school is like Miami Beach, only without the perks of sand and water. Excluding the principal’s office, the entire school is a sauna. Sometimes students try to get in trouble just to cool off.
We approach the door, I feel the icy air streaming through the crevices and onto my skin. I look over at my sister like a familiar face in a mirror. She grabs the handle and jokingly model-gestures to the “prize” that is waiting on the other side of the door. The receptionist’s office comes before the principal’s office at our school, and the friendly face that greats us there is Darla. Darla has been the receptionist at our school for as long as I can remember. She is now a middle-aged woman, who I think I have seen more than my own mother. She has an amiable smile and a benevolent disposition. She always gives us candy, even though were supposed to be in trouble if we are sent to her office. She then tells us the principal and the vice principal are waiting. She smiles really big, and recites her catch phrase “Nice seeing you girlies!”
I open the bland wooden door with an austere expression on my face, and my sister looks straight into my eyes blank of emotion, then suddenly I blink, smirk, and our stern faces melt away. We giggle. We walk into the chilled office and our eyes fall on our amusing principal and the serious vice principal standing at his side behind the desk. The principal is a silly looking man who tries his hardest to look unyielding. They both give us their ‘I’m disappointed’ look, and we sit down and wait. My sister and I take quick glances back at each other, smile, and then look back at the principal and his strict and devoted side-kick.

“Ladies, I assume that you know what you have done to be here today. So, I will just say this…”

The principal babbles on. My sister and I just stare at his bright bow-tie that reflects the light almost blinding us, as the vice principal stands there listening attentively.

“…I think you both went too far when you spray painted all of the computers with graffiti.”

My sister and I look at each other confused. We had just assumed he was going to punish us for our dress violations. The majority of our principal visits were due to ‘inappropriate attire’ or ‘inappropriate language.’ We would never destroy school property. Why would we want to make the computers any worse than they already were? (It was a miracle they still turned on)
My sister and I, and a couple of our friends, did steal our enemy team’s mascot suit last year, but we did return it (eventually), but why would the principal ever think that we would graffiti the computers?

“Now, you girls should think about what you’ve done!”

“We didn’t do it, so can we go?” My sister stated. She was always the admirable leader of our duo.

“I know you girls did it. Don’t try to resist punishment, we have a lot of evidence against you,” said the vice principal, the harsher of the two enforcers.

The principal continued to babble on about the supposed evidence and the different ways we could pay back the school as I sat there and took it all in, not bold enough to scream that we were innocent. It wasn’t until I heard:

“…there was a girl who said she saw you both leaving the computer lab with bags of spray paint and then put them in your lockers.”

“What girl?” I asked, flabbergasted, breaking out of my stereotype as “the shy twin.”
There was a girl, Marie Liner, that has never liked my sister and me. The feud began in grade school; I don’t remember how it started exactly.
“We cannot reveal her name. It is confidential.” The vice principal stated robotically.

“Come with me! I’ll prove we didn’t” I wasn’t going to get suspended for something I didn’t do. The vice principal followed me and my shocked sister out to the hot hallway and over to my locker while the principal stayed glued to his chair. When I got to the locker and opened it, a red spray paint can fell out.

“Okay, I knew she would put them in our lockers. She is framing us!” Marie was always trying to ruin my sister and my life, but this was going too far.

“You just proved to me that you are the vandalizers, now come with me girls!” The vice principal stated as he forced us back into “his” office.

“I know who really did it. She framed us!” I stopped and looked him straight in the eye. I couldn’t believe that I was actually standing up for myself! “Marie Liner, she did it. I’m not sure how to prove it, but she did. At least, I bet she is the one who said she saw us coming out of the computer lab, and who put the spray paint in our lockers.”

“That’s absurd.”

“If you don’t believe me, check her fingers. The spray paint gets all over your fingers when you spray paint. It stays there for days.” I took a woodworking course where I had to spray paint my final project. My fingers were black for a week.

He walked down the hall. My sister and I tailed him. He found Marie in class. He told her to hold out her hands. There was no red paint.

“Now, girls, please step back into my office,” the vice principal said satisfactorily, “Your free to go, Marie.”

Walking back to the principal’s office, my sister and I hung our heads. My eyes were focused on the ground, ashamed and upset that I was going to be punished for something I never did. I watched the vice principal’s fingers clasp the old squeaky door knob to the cold abyss that was the principal’s office.

“You!” I said pointing out his hand on the knob. He clenched his hands into fists to hide the evidence; his fingers were spattered with red.

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rulistening? said...
Apr. 22, 2009 at 11:05 am
ok, that was kinda weird but i pretty much liked it. you describe things really well.
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