Fretwell Finds Brink
“Don’t take me to the nurse.”
“But you’re hurt Brink. OMG, what happened to your neck? You need help.”
“Not the nurse. Do you have a car?”
Any doubts of Fretwell’s gender evaporated after being carried through the halls, out the door, and through the parking lot to a worn, rusty hatchback. He opened the back and settled me into the bed. I lay down and closed my eyes.
“I’ll see what I can get from the nurse. You be okay?”
I nodded yes, knowing I wouldn’t.
What did I remember? Wraithe’s attack and then Fretwell looking over me. My problem remained. Wraithe told me he planned to eat me for lunch.
My plans are in ruins. No skipping out, no new life with Carrie. And worse, I must attend math during period seven.
What would Ben Franklin do?
Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.
I tried and was pretty much raped.
What I ought to have done was call the cops. Or better headed right for the cafeteria and faced my accuser and…and…
It got a little dicey there.
I wondered if Ben were a girl, would his resolutions differ?
In my semi-consciousness, I modified some of his greatest hits.
TEMPERANCE. Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation. How about – Get loaded so you don’t feel the pain of being abused by a big male monster?
SILENCE. Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation. This was hard. Guys wanted us girls to say nothing but trifling stuff. And once we did speak –’please don’t hurt me’ - it was ’up against the locker!’ Damned if we did or did not. I scratched this one.
ORDER. Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time. I tried to put things in order and looked what it did for me. Might have to consider a different a new one – go crazy, become a Maenad. Look what they did to King Pentheus?
SINCERITY. Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and, if you speak, speak accordingly. OMG! In this world? Only with Carrie. The rest have to suffer my deceit.
JUSTICE. Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty. Oh brother. I intended to strike back at Wraithe.
MODERATION. Avoid extreams; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve. See Justice.
HUMILITY. Imitate Jesus and Socrates. Unlikely. I was going with the Maenads.
“All for twenty-seven dollars?” Fretwell had returned. I didn’t how long he had been talking. I opened my eyes as he placed a cold rag on my nose. How life can improve in a flash. He opened a small container of apple juice, stuck a small straw into it and handed it to me. Talk about the importance of little things. And I had previously hated apple juice.
“What a monster! I have $30. I’ll give it to him. You stay here.”
“No, wait, Fretwell. I need to think.”
“I’m not sure. I don’t need you to get involved. Tape up my nose and let me have your scarf.”
“Hold on! Hold on! Let me clean you first. Gosh, what a bleeder!”
“My mother was a bleeder.”
“What do you mean?”
“She was a boxer.”
“Not professionally, amateur. Pinweight. Ninety-seven pounds. What a tiger. She taught me some basics.”
“Where did you come from?”
“I am the big one in the family.”
“But you didn’t learn the first lesson - Duck!”
“Yeah, well, Wraithe sort of had the advantage.”
“Betsy did that earlier.”
“You are having quite a day.”
“And it’s not over.”
“There, not too bad. You’re going to have two big shiners soon.”
“Ah, perfect, and this weekend was my coming out.”
“Brink, everyone knows you’re out.”
“No, my debutante debut. Where’s your sense of irony Fretwell?”
“Yeah, ha. Now help me up and give me that scarf.”
“But you’ll bleed on it. That is a nasty cut. Shaving?”
“Funny. Just put a band-aid on it.”
“Well, aren’t you an advertisement for the walking dead.”
Standing outside, I bent down to see my face in the rear-view mirror.
“Time to be resolved.”
“Brink?”“Ben Franklin. Fretwell, don’t you do your homework?”