The classroom was in a mundane, soporific trance when Harry walked in. The doors squealed drawing all the eyes in his direction. He bowed to the professor, apologizing for being tardy, and snaked around the room until he got to his seat in the center.
Looking back, there was probably no one in class that was spared by Jimmy. Everyone got a “souvenir” as he called them. Well, maybe not everyone. Jimmy respected his friend: Kelly, his girlfriend, Michael, a fellow classmate, Jenna, Michael’s sister, Larry, the son of the local garage owner, and Harry. They were the gang that hung out together almost every day.
Were they best friend? Could they depend on each other? Harry wasn’t so sure. If he had to be honest, he would admit that he joined the group for fear of having his day ruined. He wasn’t a wimp, but after seeing a phone electrocute a fellow classmate, he tossed his pride outside the window and decided to join the group. He probably wasn’t the only one to break under pressure.
At least they were safe, or so they thought. The day that Jimmy left was also the day that Michael got suspended for having something in his locker that he wasn’t supposed to. Harry remembered him raging that the stuff wasn’t his. The rumors spread quickly.
“Apparently, we’re not Jimmy’s friends anymore.” Michael’s last words echoed in Harry’s mind.
The class soon ended with the teacher’s standard announcement, “If someone finds my pen, please return it. It was a gift.”
Harry walked downstairs, and met Jenna at his locker. He zoomed close to it, but decided that he wasn’t brave enough to open it.
“If I were you, I wouldn’t open yours either.” He said.
“Don’t be ridiculous. You haven’t opened your locker for four months now.” She replied with a grimace, her eyes concealed by a pair of black glasses.
That’s was true. After unintentionally spilling a secret that Jimmy told him, Harry stopped using his locker. He still remembered those sleepless nights.
Jenna turned the dial, and opened the locker. A pile of filth spilled to her feet. Everything inside was soiled. Dressed in a new squalid look, she clenched her fist. She tried to look unfazed, but she didn’t succeed. The giggles hit her like a slap in the face. She shut the locker.
“Don’t you dare say anything.” She glared at Harry.
“At least you’re safe. Be happy it wasn’t something worse.”
English class was next. He avoided the puddle of water that Jenna had no intention of cleaning, and continued down the hall. He found the classroom. He saw Larry sitting in his favorite jacket.
“I heard she got caught.”
“Rumors spread really quickly these days.” Harry responded.
Larry had a long cut. His hair drooped to around his shoulders. He didn’t like it, but he admitted that it was a ploy to be able to listen to his Ipod in class without getting in trouble. Even now, he had one of the earbuds stuffed in his ear, playing. The class soon commenced, and everyone was given a blank piece of paper. The teacher said it was a surprise quiz. The irritating tune played in the background just like in the other class. It induced Harry with a profound headache.
Midway through class, the teacher picked on Larry. For the first time ever, she inquired about his headphones that were completely obscured by his hair and jacket. After a subtle quarrel, she demanded seeing them. She took the Ipod to her desk, and scrolled through the playlists. After some thought, Larry was taken to the principal office.
Harry later heard that he had test answers recorded, and he was listening to them in class.
“Three down, Two to go.” Harry heaved. He dreaded the end of the day. What’s to come?
Nothing happened at lunch. Everyone was chatting as if things returned to normal. He saw many familiar, happy faces. Some of them ravenously eating pizza, others feasting on the salad. They all had a relaxed look about them, which he seemed to contract. He talked about yesterday’s basketball game with a few strangers. Harry laughed and cracked jokes. When lunch ended, he had another class, a class he had to repeat – it was his senior year and he failed it last time.
The class went by really sluggishly. It felt as if it’ll never end. The tune redoubled and continued in an infuriating, headache-inducing fashion. No one said a word. Harry’s head was ready to explode. At the end, he saw Kelly talk with the professor. She exchanged a brief conversation, and when she was about to leave, he called her back. She didn’t put her name on the homework. She dug out her little pouch with all her pens and pencils. Within, the professor saw his favorite pen. It was needless to say that Kelly had some explaining to do. Her pleas were not heard, and she ended up in the principal’s office. This put Harry at the edge of his seat.
Before he left, he looked at the professor’s desk. The tune had now stopped as if some knew the lesson ended. He waiting until the professor left, and returned to the classroom. He shut the door behind and scavenged the desk. He dug through the teacher’s belongings, and finally he saw the phone. It was Jimmy’s doing. The tune only played when someone called. He recognized the dozens of calls from the same number. It must’ve been Jimmy’s number. He took the phone, and walked away.
No nightmare awaited him on that day.
It was on the following day that a recording of his presumed theft was received by the principal, and he was suspended.
So here is another short story. I hope you enjoyed reading it. Just like always, feel free to comment and make suggestions.
Thanks for reading.