I was any old regular kid back in my day. I got into fights with others, tried to impress girls, and followed the crowd. I regret the last thing the most. I should’ve never done that… I went to a C-list public school, the kind where the teachers smoked, the patents didn’t care and everyone wore secondhand clothing. The school was called West Side Junior High. It earned its name too, with gangs preforming violence of extent to send people to the ER. It was a battle over the west side.
I wasn’t like anybody in the gangs though. I was an average fair skinned male, trying to fit in with all of the majority of black kids. For some reason, I felt out numbered. I was kind of smart, but failed one or two classes on purpose to hopefully get in touch with the popular people to actually be noticed. One of those classes I failed, was language arts, I really didn’t know what I was getting into.
I began taking the slow version of the class a Tuesday of what seemed like the second week of school or so, anyway, I wasn’t surprised to see many people in the class. To my luck the class was more of a social hour than work. But there were actually people in the class that were actually getting work done. James Stewart in the corner of the room was trying his best to read faded textbook, without his glasses and his aide. James was deformed and had some kind of Paulsy thing I hadn’t bothered to ask about. As for his glasses, one of the gang leaders in the school, Carlos, took them and got mob of angry teenagers to cuss at him and throw sharp pencils and large books at him, just because he was reading.
The next day, Carlos began his routine mob attack on James. “Yo, Cory, you better throw some of your books at this kook.” Carlos said. Now implying that he would do the same to me if I didn’t agree and taking in the factor of not wanting to be enemies with a Gang leader I immediately joined in without a word. The teacher was always smoking in the teacher’s lounge, but if she saw the assault on James, she would have to say something.
Every school day of the year, James would do his work in L-A class., every school day of the year, he had projectiles thrown at him, even knives and lighters some times. James would go home bloody faced, with no reaction, each day with a more mutilated face than the last. There came a point where I just stopped, knowing better judgement. That day I ended up in the ER from a knife thrown by a gang grunt. I was out for a week or so, then I came back to school next Friday.
The school was surrounded by police officers and ambulances. I asked one of the patrol guards, “What’s up here!?” she said, “There’s been a homicide and suicide in the building recently, I’m afraid I can’t let you pass now, go home.” I was shocked and began to walk home. In the eastern wng of the building where L-A class is, blood adorned the windows as a sillouette of the deformed James Stewart hang from a rope above a desk, with some kind of fire arm about fall out of his hand. I shook my head and went home and watched the news with my family.
“Breaking News! 22 killed and 1 suicide at local school!” the TV blared on the crawler as witnesses were interviewed. I listen to the News but can’t help thanking my better judgement.