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Chapter 10: Scene 36: Get in there and cool down


       The door shuts with a clang and I hear the key click in the lock. I pace around the dinky little room, smashing a fist into my other hand, bawling myself out for getting caught out by Randy and Hi-Lo.

       The bed is a metal shelf fastened to the wall with big bolts. I unroll the mattress covered with faded blue and white ticking. I get a nose full of stale pee and Lysol. I throw the gray blanket over it. Maybe that'll help.

       I walk over to a steel sink fastened to a steel plate on the wall over by the corner. I punch a button on the wall behind it and a stream of water comes out for a minute and then stops. Next to it there's a funny toilet with a built-in rim for a seat. No pipes, no handles anywhere. I stomp on a button on the floor and the toilet flushes.

       Little pings of water hit the window. I walk over and try to see out in the dark, but all I see is rain hitting the glass and me looking out at it. The bruise on my cheek is bright red. I'll have a black eye tomorrow for sure. I bounce up and down. Blood pumps through me so hard my skin tingles. I walk around the room some more. My socks don't make a sound on the concrete floor. This isn't a room. It's a cell. I think of that old movie again, the one in Sing-Sing where the con in the cell paces back and forth ... only it's not him. It's me.

       Metal clangs in the center room. I walk over to the door and try to see out, but the slot in the door is covered. Then I hear Randy. Sounds like they're right outside.

       "Don't push me, you son-of-a bitch."

       Then I hear Wagner's voice. "Watch it, smart mouth. You're in Howard because you can't control yourself. You freak out here, you just got yourself to hurt."

ThinkLink: Tell about a time when a parent or teacher didnít believe your side of a problem.

       "I ain't the one who done it." Randy's yelling again, still pumped. "It was John Hanson. He's the one. He came at me. They can tell you. Davis, over at Taylor, he seen Hanson come at me."

       "You'll get a hearing in the morning. Those are the rules. Mr. Davis will file a report. Now get in there and cool down."

       Damn! They'll believe Randy. My tags! I'm gonna lose 'em all. I pound on the door until my fist is numb and yell, "Someday, Randy. I'll get back at you. You'll see. Someday."

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 Updated on 5/13/04

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