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Life of an Inanimate Object: Part IX: Lunch at School

posted Mar 31, 2017, 4:35 AM by Jeffrey Wolf

By: Megan Cichon, Entertainment Editor

Posted March 31st, 2017


Part IX: Lunch at School

I wasn’t a hundred percent certain what was supposed to happen in a high school, but I’m guessing that curling up in the darkest corner of the library during lunch wasn’t the intended purpose. Galen seemed super upset, and I didn’t have to work too hard to guess why. He’d kept me tucked behind his ear the entire day, so I’d had a front row seat to all the horrors he’d experienced. I’d thought the kids who’d picked on him on the tube--turns out it’s called a bus--were a special exception. As it turned out, the entire student population seemed to have it out for poor Galen. Girls would snicker at him, guys would mock his movements, different kids would call him names not at all appropriate for an educational setting...the worst was when he was walking past the gymnasium and a bunch of kids threw soaking wet towels over his head.

I wasn’t convinced that Galen wanted to go to school to begin with, and he didn’t seem to overjoyed at the prospect of going back to class. As soon as the dismissal bell had sang, Galen had raced out of the classroom and bee-lined towards the library. Since then, he’d been curled up with a notebook on his lap and me in his hand, next to the only window in the library. The librarians had since gone to lunch, and the lights were turned off. I could hear the jeer of hundreds of kids in the lunchroom not far from the library.

Galen sighed, and set me against the paper, and started sweeping me across it.

...I watched the traffic light carefully. The topmost light was still lit, and had been for a while now. I wished the bottom light would flash. I wanted to slam my foot on the pedal and feel the car lurch underneath me...

“Hey look!” A voice jeered, “I found the loser’s hiding spot!”

Galen stopped suddenly, and looked up. I looked up too. There was a tall, beefy kid approaching. In the dark, he looked extremely intimidating.

“Whatcha writing, nerd?” He asked, leaning forwards, and ripping the notebook from Galen’s hands. I fell onto the floor, and Galen shot to his feet.

“Give it back!” He shouted, jumping to try and reach the notebook the bully was now holding high above his head.

I heard a few kids snickering the dark. The kid shoved Galen back, and he slammed into a bookshelf.

“‘The topmost light was still lit, and had been for quite a while now’,” the bully mocked, “‘I wished the bottom light would flash.’”

“Give it back!” Galen shouted again, running at the bully and leaping into the air.

The bully moved easily to the side and laughed.

“Is this really what it’s like to see the world like you do?” The bully snarled, “No wonder you’re so awkward!”

More laughter came from the doorway.

“Just leave me alone!” Galen cried, jumping again to his feet and clenching his fists angrily.

“Or what?” The bully sneered, “You’ll kill me in your stupid novel? What’s it about again? Some stupid kid like you--”

Galen screamed angrily, and punched the bully in the nose. Blood showered onto the books sitting on the shelves, and the bully dropped Galen’s notebook. Galen scrambled forwards and grabbed his notebook, but he wasn’t fast enough. The bully grabbed Galen’s ankle, and he fell back down. The bully stood up and dragged him away into the dark again. I could hear Galen and the bully shouting and screaming at one another. Suddenly, the lights flickered on, and standing in the doorway of the library were several teachers and students. Their mouths were wide open as they witnessed the scene before them.

Galen was on the ground, and the bully was looming over him. Galen’s face was bloody, and I could have sworn I saw a tooth on the ground next to his face. His eyes were glazing over, and suddenly his head fell limply down.

“He started it...,” the bully stammered.

“Get away from him!” A teacher shouted, rushing to Galen, and shouting back, “Call 911!”
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