Chapter 7 SUSPENDED
It’s official, 7th grade must be the 7th circle of hell. Marney hates me. I’m public enemy number one by the principal’s standards and there’s still a pack of mean girls after me at school.
Today Marney arrived with me at the school just as she promised Jane and Fred she would. But instead of everything coming up roses, Marney made her own life much more complicated.
When Marney went to the principal with my complaint, the principal stated that nothing could be done because it was my word against the other girls’ and since it would end up being a “she said, she said” kind of thing, that it would be best to leave it alone. “Give it some cooling off time,” she insisted.
Marney was not happy about this and rolled angrily out of the principal’s office, letting the door slam. I was pretty proud of her, but then the trouble really began.
The wild animals were in the hall after a long smoke in the bathroom. I could smell their Marlboro perfume. I got really close to Marney as we walked toward the exit and down the hall.
She asked, “What’s the matter?”
She looked at me. She looked at them. They looked at me.
“That’s it,” she said and she rolled over to the girls.
I was surprised. They were even more surprised. She was twice as big as them even in the wheelchair--she looked scary.
“What do you want, Roller-bitch?” the pack leader asked Marney. The girls laughed and gave each other high-fives. Marney was seeing red.
“You lay a finger on my little sister again and I’ll roll you, all right, I will roll you up into a little ball, dribble you and throw you through a basket.”
Then Marney grabbed her arm. “You got that?”
Everyone gasped, including me.
“Excuse me?!” the principal called out while walking toward them.
“Oh no,” I said to myself.
Marney let the girl’s arm go. The girl stood eagerly in front of the principal and pretended to be innocent.
The principal demanded,“How dare you?”
“Principal Grey, this lady grabbed me!” the pack leader whined like a little girl.
I kind of smiled. I knew Marney was going to get punished for this, but I couldn’t help but think how great it was that someone finally scared this bully as much as she scared me. Still, what happened next couldn’t be justified by my satisfaction.
“Ms. Ferguson, you are lucky you are not eighteen yet, otherwise you could be arrested for assault. Come into my office.”
Marney and I went back into the principal’s office. I worried now the principal really would call the police. She picked up the phone. Instead she dialed Jane. Jane was not happy. Then she dialed Marney’s school. Marney’s principal told her coach and the coach suspended Marney from the next six games at school. The principal suspended her from school for a week. By the time we left that office, Marney was in the dog house and I didn’t have a friend in the world, not even Marney.
When I got home, I threw my books across my room.
“Oh, why did I have to be so smart?” I yelled into the mirror.
A knocking at my door, made me turn to look. Fred walked into my room, took me in his arms and patted my head.
“Samantha, you have a lot to learn about yourself and others. And it’s a good thing you’re smart. Not a bad thing.”
“Marney hates me.”
“Marney doesn’t hate you,” he answered back. “She’s just upset and she’ll get over it.”
“Six games, Fred.” I told him.
“I know,” he said. “She’ll find something to do. Maybe you two can find something to do together.”
“She’s seventeen, Fred.”
Marney was mad at me. I could tell. At dinner, she barely looked at me. And hardly anyone spoke. But Fred had a few ideas about what to do with her free time. Afterward I asked her if she wanted to go outside and shoot hoops together.
She said, “I’ve got better things to do then play games with you, Samantha.”
She never calls me Samantha.