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A Bad First Week
By Scott P.
age: 15

Crack! The tree branches are breaking all around me. I canít stop running, I can never stop running or theyíll get meÖ Wait a minute now. Iím getting a little ahead of myself. Let me start from the very beginning.

My name is John Flamin. Itís just two days before Halloween. I had recently moved to a small town in Georgia named Hartwell. I moved here from Richmond, Virginia, where I was everyoneís friend; I had no enemies. Today was the first day at my new school, and from the minute I woke up I could tell that it wasnít going to be a good day.

My little brother, Daunte, burst through my bedroom door at five thirty this morning yelling about how he was so excited to go to school and meet new people. I didnít have to be in school 'til eight oíclock, so I decided to get some more sleep once my brother decided to leave me alone. Not such a good idea. Two hours and fifteen minutes later my mother comes in yelling at me about how we have to leave immediately, and I havenít even gotten dressed. Iím able to take a quick shower, throw on some clothes and still make it out of the house by five after eight.

I arrive at the school already a half hour late and walk into the principalís office. There is a boy, probably a little older than me, walking out with the principal right behind him. He had a very angry look on his face. He motions me to come into his office, so I go in and sit in the only seat in front of his desk. I see a nameplate on his desk telling me that his name is Dr. Royston. He walks in and sits down in the chair behind his desk. He says, ďYouíre lateĒ and just stares at me. I start to stutter out an excuse, but he cuts me off before I can finish.

ďAt this school we expect everyone to be here by eight oíclock and no later, but I guess since it is your first day I can let it slideĒ, he says. ďNow, what did you say your name was?Ē

ďI didnít, sir,Ē I started, ďbut my name is John Flamin. I just moved in.Ē

He rummages through some folders, finds mine, and takes a look. After a minute or two he calls for someone to come in. A girl walks in. I can tell sheís around my age and she seems nice. He tells me that she is going to give me a tour of the school, show me where my classes are and introduce me to my teachers. I say goodbye to the principal and leave the office.

ďHi, Iím Teagen,Ē she says. ďWhatís your name?Ē

I tell her that Iím John and that I just moved here. She explains some things about the school and the kids in the school. She mentions that some of the other students donít take real kindly to new kids so I better watch out. She takes me around to all of my rooms and introduces me to each of my teachers, who all seem to be very nice. After that, it is about time for lunch so she shows me to the cafeteria and helps me pick out and pay for my meal.

I see a table with a group of boys and since there is an extra seat, I go over and sit down. Everyone stops talking and just looks at me. A kid, who I think might be the one who was getting yelled at by the principal this morning, walks up behind me and says, ďHey what are you doing in my seat?Ē I told him that I was new here and I didnít know that the seat was reserved for him. I continue to sit there and eat my meal when the kid decides to just shove me out of the seat onto the floor. Then he picks up my tray and throws it at me. My food goes everywhere. I can tell that Iím not wanted here, so I pick up my stuff and walk away to where Teagen is eating.

She pulls up a seat next to her so that I can sit down. I ask her about the kids at the other table. She tells me that theyíre on the football team and are mean to everyone, even the people that are on their team. I figure I should try to stay away from them at least until I get used to the school and make some friends of my own. Lunch ends and itís time for me to start my afternoon classes.

My first class is math. When I walk in, I see that the kid that pushed me out of my seat is in my class. As he walks by my desk he pushes all of my books and folders off and onto the floor. It turns out that he is in pretty much all of my classes. I find out in my science class that his name is Jamial, and that he isnít very bright. Throughout the day he keeps picking on me by pushing me and punching me. The next day isnít much better.

I thought that since Iíd been here for a day he would stop picking on me. I was wrong. Today is even worse. He does everything he was doing yesterday and wonít stop no matter what I do or what I say to him. At the end of the day, when Iím walking down the hall, he comes up to me, knocks all of the books out of my hands and shoves me against a locker. I decide that Iím not going to take any more of this so I push him right back. We start throwing punches and soon itís a full-blown brawl. The principal pulls us apart, but not before I get in one good punch that I think might have broken his nose. As he is being pulled away I hear him yell, ďYou better watch your back, Flamin. Iím going to kill you.Ē

I was sent home and told that Iíd be suspended for a week. I tell my parents everything that happened and they werenít too mad at me because they understood that I had to stand up for myself. I spend the rest of the night just watching TV and playing video games. At around ten oíclock I decide to go to sleep.

Today is Halloween and I canít wait to go outside and see all the costumes the kids will be wearing. I spend most of the day just sitting around waiting for night to come. When it finally gets dark outside, I go for a walk around my neighborhood. After a few minutes I start to sense that someone is following me. I look around, but there is no one in sight, so I just keep on walking. As I reach the street corner someone comes up from behind, hits me on the back of the head and knocks me down on the cement. He starts pushing me around on the ground, but Iím able to shake him off. I stand up and see that there are people closing in on me from every side. I see one kid take off his mask. Itís dark out, but I can still make out his face. Itís Jamial; he is holding something in his hand that looks like a baseball bat. Another kid tries to tackle me but I get out of it. I can tell that this isnít going to turn out good, so I turn around and take off running.

I hear them screaming at me as they give chase. I can make out Jamial saying that heís going to get me and that heís going to make me pay for breaking his nose. I have an idea of where my house is and know that if I can just make it back there Iíll be safe. All I have to do is run through a patch of forest and then I should be on my street.

Iím not a very fast runner and the kids behind me are starting to close in. I hope I can lose them in the woods. I reach the woods and keep on running. Crack! I can hear the tree branches breaking all around me. I canít stop running; I can never stop running or theyíll get me. I hear the kids spread out and realize that theyíre going to try and trap me. I just keep running and hope that they wonít be able to trap me as planned. I hear a noise in front of me and see one of the kids standing there. I skid to a stop, and look around.
They are all circled around me. I know that Iíll never be able to get out. Jamial steps into the middle of the circle and starts talking.

ďHey there, John. Thereís no more running now. Thereís no way you can escape. But how about this? Iíll make you a deal. You and me, one on one. If you win, then you can go home.Ē

I know that there is no other way Iím going to be able to get out of this situation, so I agree.

We start by circling around each other. We are both waiting for the other to make the first move. He gives in first, dives, and tries to take out my legs. I move back and am able to keep out of his grasp. I continue to move back, but I run into the circle of people behind me and they push me into him. He grabs me and throws me into a tree. I hit it hard and fall to the ground. Iím hurt but Iím not going to give up. As I start to stand up he lunges for me again. Whack! I land a punch square on his chin before he can reach me. I can tell that it dazed him. Iím not going to miss this chance to win and I go in for the kill. I land two punches on his stomach and another two on his face. I sweep out with my leg and roundhouse kick him in the side of the head. He goes flying into the tree and doesnít get back up.

Everyone knows that I have won so they make a path and I walk out of the woods and back to my house. When I get home my parents ask me why Iím so dirty and I tell them that I just went for a walk in the woods and slipped in the dirt a couple of times.

A couple of days go by and I just stay cooped up in my house. One day, my dad is reading the newspaper and the headline catches my eye --- ďChild Left in Critical Condition Halloween NightĒ. After my dad finishes, I take it and read the article.

It says that a boy was found in the forest on Halloween night. He was severely beaten and unconscious. He is now in critical condition, but it looks as if he is going to survive. I realize that this must be Jamial. I didnít think that he had taken that bad of a beating from me. I decided that if no one else has told them about the fight, that I better just keep quiet and it will all go away. I just go about my usual business for the next couple of days.

Now Iím able to go back to school. I walk in and everyone is staring at me. I guess word gets around quick at this school. Everyone knows about the fight. No one will talk to me, not even Teagen. This has been a horrible first week in my new town and I can tell that Iím not going to like this place for a very long time.


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