It was early one school morning, about seven forty, in the middle of the week. The warm autumn air was whistling with glee as the students started piling off the bus when it came to a stop. Following behind them, each of the kid's facial features showed gloominess, apathy, malicious, or the exact opposite some were chirpy, joyful, or jubilant as they spoke to their fellow peers. I, myself, am not a morning person, so all the happy faces that were surrounding me made me aggravated as I passed them. That morning I had been rudely awakened by my brother and mother, and that had a lot to do with my mood.
Conversations were blooming into different colors around me, I decided to stay in the grey areas avoiding the brighter colors as best as I could. Headed to the gym, that was in the back of the cafeteria as athletics was my first-period class. As I entered the gymnasium it was vacant excluding two or three girls which I mustered up a brief smile in acknowledgment. I made a beeline into the locker room, where I could throw my stuff down in agony.
As I walked in, there were girls doing makeup, changing into their athletic wear, gossiping about this girl Trinity and how she had gone into the office the morning before for an unknown reason. Rolling my eyes, I weaved around the gossipers trying to get to my locker. Coincidentally, my locker was located right next to the talking, gossiping, girls. Ignoring them, I opened my locker shoving my school bag into it. I had never felt so much relief from anything. It felt like a thousand pounds had been lifted off my shoulders, all the stress that came with school had been lifted.
Shortly after the bell rang for first period, we filed out of the locker room and into our normal spots. The coaches walked out taking roll another one of the coaches interrupted asking for Katy, Carrie, Hannah, and I to go to the office, we didn’t need our things. Confused, each of us got up exiting the gym not thinking much about what was going to happen. Since we were all friends at the time we talked and laughed which had gotten me out of my sour mood as we marched to the office.
As we finally made it to the office Katy, startled, wide-eyed says, “I wonder why we’re here?”
We all nodded in agreement that it was odd, but I reassured, “I’m sure it’s nothing.”
Just as Trinity exited the office with the vice principal in tow. “Alright girls, one at a time into my office,” She demanded. This wasn’t going to be good, not at all.
One by one she interviewed us for things, that we were unaware of. Something I had yet, and wouldn’t find out for a while afterward, to find out what it was. Two of the three girls that had come with me, were bawling on the floor next to me with no explanation. Not a moment longer the third crying girl bolted out of the dark, uncanny, vegas like office. The vise principal didn’t speak a word as I relentlessly walked into the office, sighing as I faced the storm that was brewing.
“Do you know of any bullying going on in athletics?” She questioned
I sat in thought for a moment, what had been going on the last few days? For the last couple days, we had been running around the gym for offseason. I had laughed with Katy about class, as the drama between Trinity and I was coming to an end. Vaguely like a huge wave crashing on me at once I had remembered something. The week prior Carrie was having a dispute with Trinity about something I didn’t know, but they were yelling. Could this be what they’re talking about?
I responded to the vise principal with a brief statement of the Carrie and Trinity incident but mentioned that I hadn’t thought much about it since then. Jotting down what I had said she didn’t recant or question me any further. As I sat there, watching her pen scribble in a journal, it occurred to me that this was about Trinity. We had had our drama in the past and I thought we were past this, but I guess that wasn’t the case. The other girls were in tears, I couldn’t imagine why. What had caused them to be in tears, anger? Sadness? How was it that it was only the vise principal speaking with us and not a coach, the principal, or even the creator of this mess? This was really happening. I had never thought in my whole life this would be in this chair.
I wonder if this is what the non-guilty party feels like as they are counted guilty, being escorted to a cell of which they don’t belong. Without a word else to me, the vise principal escorted me and the other three girls, not to the gym, but to a room secluded by the rest of the school, it was foreign. I had felt lost, so lost mentally and physically, the anger was slowly rising inside of my veins. The feeling of the unknown, not yet discussed with me what was to happen. There was a school bag that was way out of reach, unfinished homework that I could be doing, but I guess not. This foreign classroom had desks that were only facing the wall, each one had blue dividers that had been vandalized with profanity by previous students. There was a vibe that was unexplainable, it felt like a true prison, it felt like a quiet library all at once.
At the front desk sat a lady, she was unlike any other person I had met. Upon us entering she states, “You are all here for a reason of which you know,” ha, was she wrong, I silently scoffed, “Now you cannot, nor will you…” she went down a long list of things that I didn’t care to pay any attention to. After what felt like centuries of what I, we, did to deserve such treatment I zoned back when four low, annoyed sighs screeched through my own thoughts. Two pages of why we're here, what we did, how to fix it. My frustration increased as she said this, I didn’t like her treating us as if we were nothing. This whole day was falling apart as I took the seat that was closest to the door.
Honestly, I hadn’t thought about why I was so furious until much later, but in that moment it had set off a new version of anger. I had not known I could be so angry at the world, I still didn’t know why I was being held captive in this quiet room. My head spun with thoughts of what the other girls had been told, all I knew was that we were separated. Not by force, but by choice. Every one of them was crying their own tears, for their own reasons that were unknown to me.
“Oh, your essays are due at the end of your sentence, a week from now.” One week, I took a breath, but all I could think about was my blood boiling, my thoughts heating, and the red that was shined through my vision. They wouldn’t let us get out school bag! Changing, that was way out of the question for the evil queen. My anger had taken over my whole actions, I couldn’t stop it even if I wanted to. Instead of properly doing the essay, I didn’t.
For the next week, all three of us went into the same room, did the same things, expect from this point on we had our bags. On the third day I had missed our first and only pep-rally, then I cried. I wasn’t angry at that point, just upset. After each day, more and more people asked where I had gone and where I was. The head of the honor committee had put me on probation for my wrongdoings, shamefully I had accepted without hesitation.
Eventually, I figured out why we were sentenced a week in the silent, white room full of my anger, shame, and regret. Trinity had mentioned to the office that I, we, had been picking on her and the school forced each of us to go to a week of ISS, in school suspension, in case anything were to happen in the future.
Despite my anger at the time, it showed me that even if you aren’t like your group of friends, people will always group you with who you hang out with. It was evident that I finally had to make healthy friendships, that the people around me would care for me as true friends, and wouldn’t get me in trouble for anything.