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    I watched the clock, thinking that if I were secretly Luke Skywalker in disguise, I could use the Force to grab that hour hand and fast-forward time to the end of school.

    Of course, I wasn't Luke Skywalker, and I couldn't speed up time, so I had to sit there as our Language arts teacher explained how it's proper to say "you and I" not "you and me" and why. I let out a sigh, and as usual, lost track of what she was saying.

    And then the bell finally rang. I rushed out the door, hearing a voice call urgently behind me,

    "Hey! Tom!" I stopped, and turned around. A tall, blond haired boy named Ken came up to me with a joking smile.

    "Yeah?" I inquired. He was a pretty popular kid, so talking to him personally was pretty nerve-wracking. It was like your reputation was on the line or something. Not that I had much of a reputation.

    "I heard about what happened to your mom yesterday," he answered, still grinning. I turned my head, and bit my lip. How does the news spread so fast without me telling anyone? I nodded, and said again,

    "Yeah..." He gave me a sympathetic frown, and said,

    "I'm sorry about what happened to you." I actually smiled at him, until he continued, "Your mom is such an idiot. She could've killed you!" My head drooped down, and I could see I single hair start dangling over my eyes as I whispered darkly,

    "Take it back..." He gave me a curious look, replying with one of his eye brows arched up,


    "Take it back!" I don't remember much of what happened next. I just have the vague memory of me curling up my fist, and seeing the frightened look on Ken's face. Then, he was on the ground, his nose crooked and bleeding, and me shaking my sore right hand. The other kids in the hall suddenly stopped, and I could hear whispers abroad. I suddenly realized what I had done, and I immediately apologized,

    "Ken--I-I'm sorry..." His forehead folded into arches as he got up with grinded teeth and shut-tight eyes.

    "What the heck it your problem?" he exclaimed, flailing his arms in the air and suddenly bursting his eyes open. Abruptly and unexpectedly, he lunged forward and grabbed my collar, pinning me against a locker, like the ever so cliché look of a bully bullying a wimp.

    "I said..." I whined eagerly, "I said I'm sorry!" He gnarled at me, and started,

    "Well, you'll be..." A voice from the left suddenly intervened,

    "What is going on here?" A not-very-happy-looking teacher waltzed over to us, and, turning to Ken, who had let go of me by now, asked,

    "What happened?" He immediately pointed to me, and tattled,

    "Ask him." She looked at me suspiciously, as I looked down and said,

    "I--I punched him...in the nose. I lost control of my anger...I'm sorry." The teacher grabbed both of us, and we were both plopped down at the office.


    15 minutes later, my dad came, and had a discussion with the principal. I only heard bits of it, but I could get out words like "aggressive behavior...inappropriate...suspension". I pounded against the glass office wall, an unwanted tear trailing down my nose. I shook my head and wondered what my dad might say.

    He came out about 10 minutes later, and we both set ourselves inside the car.

    "Tom, I'm very disappointed in you," he scolded as we drove on home. "Why would you do that? Why would you punch that kid?" I paused for a second, trying to think of some odd excuse, but instead said the truth,

    "He insulted mom." My dad didn't say anything for five seconds, and then replied,

    "I see..." Suddenly, the subject was changed as he said brightly,

    "I scheduled to meet mom at the visiting today. Would you like to come with me?" I nodded, and he must've saw me through the mirror as he said,

    "All right. Let's go."


    We stepped into the waiting room, and already there was a line of dozens of crying parents and children waiting to me their loved ones.

    "We've got a long wait," comfirmed my dad as he too observed the weeping crowd.

    "Thanks, dad," I replied sarcastically, heaving myself into a chair and boring myself even more by reading a Hylights magazine.

    "You know, son," my dad said, sitting right next to me, "I really think we got set off on the wrong foot."

    "No," I said, reading a short story about a boy who likes pasta (yes, I was that bored). "We didn't get set off on the wrong foot. Remember, you hadn't revealed all your secrets of the world until just recently a few weeks ago. That's when our footing got a little kooky." He suddenly clasped onto my shoulders, and said, trying to sound uplifting,

    "Tom, there are many times in your life where you wish that you could take back something, but it's too late." When I didn't say anything, the conversation stopped, and I closed my Highlight's magazine and started to stare at the clock.