As Arnold began contemplating changing classes, a faint voice piped up, “I saw what happened.”
Surprised, Arnold turned around. Arnold had not seen anyone else come into the classroom since Carl and the girl left for the nurse’s office, and he had assumed he was the only person in room.
Just as Arnold began to think he was starting to go crazy, he spotted the source of the voice. In the corner of the room, sitting in the last seat of the last row was a short innocent-looking light-skinned girl, with long black hair that nearly touched the floor.
“How long have you been there?” Arnold asked.
“The whole time. None of you guys noticed me…” She said, pouting.
Arnold gave an apologetic smile as he realized that she could testify for him if Carl or that girl ever told anyone what happened.
And so, Arnold replied, in his nicest voice, “Sorry about that. My name is Arnold.”
“I’m Stephanie. People call me Steph, though."
“All right, Steph,” Arnold said, continuing to smile as pleasantly as he could, as he walked over to her. “So you saw what Carl did to me?”
Steph laid back in her seat, and a crooked smile spread across her face. “That depends.”
“On…?” Arnold said, taken aback by the sudden change in mood.
Steph crossed her legs, and dangled her right shoe in the air in front of Arnold. “Lick it.”
Her eyes turned dark. “Lick it, you measly peasant.”
Whaaaaaaat? “Uh, Steph…”
“…Queen…Steph.” Arnold gritted his teeth. “I’m not going to lick your shoe. What kind of weird request is that?”
Steph shrugged. “So be it. I guess I’ll back up Carl when he decides to get you suspended for assaulting him.”
Arnold’s fists clenched together, and he closed his eyes. You’ve got to be kidding me- what is this, am I the main character of some kind of twisted school comedy novel or something?
Arnold bit his lower lip, as he weighed his pride against his academic record. “…That’s all I have to do?” Arnold muttered softly.
Steph nodded. “Be glad that I am such a generous queen.”
Arnold looked grimly at Steph's white tennis shoe. Well. At least it's clean... Reluctantly, he leaned his face closer to the shoe. Damn, this better not awaken anything inside me. He stuck out his tongue and ran it across the length of the shoe.
Almost gagging, Arnold looked up at Steph and realized she was grinning uncontrollably. Arnold quickly rushed to the front of the classroom, and spat into the garbage can.
I can’t stay here. I need to leave. Just as Arnold was about to sprint away from the classroom, and forcefully bury the day’s memories deep into the pits of his unconsciousness, the door swung open and in came, arms swinging, a gigantic well-built man in a light blue dress shirt. Arnold’s attention was immediately drawn to the thick yet well-kempt beard around the man’s face that could only be described as glorious.
“Hey, there are only two of you?” the man's voice boomed.
“Ah, teacher, I don’t feel well-”Arnold started to say.
“Stop, stop,” the man said, interrupting Arnold. “I’m not the teacher. I’m a student.”
Arnold stared blankly back him for a good five seconds as his mind tried to grasp at the idea that the man standing in front of him was a high school student.
“…Huh?” was the only word Arnold could utter.
“I’m here for class,” the man replied. “My name’s Don.”
Arnold speechlessly stared at Don for a few seconds before saying, “Um, I don’t mean to be rude but how old are you?”
“Fourteen,” Don laughed. “Don’t worry, people ask me that a lot. I do look a little bit old for my age, huh?”
Just a little bit ?
Don chuckled, and pointed to his dress shirt. “I guess it’s because I don’t dress like a kid.” He tugged at his dress shirt.
No, no, no, that’s not it. That’s not it at all. As Arnold looked at Don incredulously, he suddenly remembered his original goal.
“Excuse me,” Arnold said, as he tried to walk past Don.
“Hold on,” said Don, putting a hand on Arnold’s shoulder “Where are you going?”
“I…don’t feel good.” It wasn’t a complete lie. “I’m going home for today.”
Don, who towered a whole feet above Arnold, stopped smiling and said sternly, “Taxpayers paid good money to get you an education. By leaving you’re insulting all of the hard-working families out there. Sit down.”
Arnold took one look at Don’s arms, silently walked back over to his window seat, and sat down in defeat.