“The soup is $1.50 for a cup.”
“How much for a bowl?”
“I have seventy-two cents.”
Miriam held a ladle full of steaming black bean soup and repeated.
“The soup is $1.50 per cup, $2.00 per bowl.”
“May I pay seventy-two cents today and pay the rest on Tuesday? I would like a bowl. I’m very hungry.”
Joe moved over from the grill and joined Miriam. They stared at me with a mix of concern and wonder.
“Can Brink buy on credit?” Miriam asked Stephanie, the cashier.
“What happened to you girl?” Stephanie asked.
“Oh, you know, the usual – walked into a door.”
“Well show me that door so I can run away from it.”
Stephanie stretched out her hand and accepted the coins.
“You want crackers with your soup?”
“No, thank you Miriam, the soup is fine.”
I walked towards Wraithe, who sat at a table in the middle of the cafeteria. Upon entering I had spoken to the three teachers doing lunch duty: Mr. Kellogg, Mr. Svensson and Miss McManus. All three looked pained as I explained my accident, each expressed disbelief and each urged me to see the nurse. I now nodded at them as walked towards Wraithe.
I approached him from his behind, having scoped him out earlier. Keeping eye contact with the teachers I poured the contents of my bowl onto Wriaithe’s head, making a point of coating his neck.
It produced the desired effect.
The teachers pulled Wraithe off from me, now sprawled out on a table among squashed nachos and margherita pizza, the day’s specials.
Plenty of students filmed the assault and Wraithe’s subsequent verbal threats. By period six, it had gone viral.
And by the day’s end the local court judge – having viewed the video footage - had instructed Wraithe to stay fifty feet away from me. If he violated this court order, Wraithe’s probation would be revoked and he would be immediately sent to jail for the rest of his high school career.
My day had suddenly improved.
Though much remained to be done.