I sat in one of the auditorium seats in between Brittney and Kevin. Kevin was holding an ice pack to his face just like I was and Brittney, who was covered in splatters of blood, was sitting in the seat with her arms and legs crossed as she pumped her one leg quickly while she glared over at the football players who had been separated from the cheerleaders and sat one section over. The rest of the cheerleaders who had jumped into the fray were sitting around us and looking down at their feet or were trying to clean the blood and dirt off their uniforms. Rachel and Tiffany were busy exchanging details in excited tones about their experience.
The principal stood in front of us and said, “Your parents are all on their way and will be here shortly. I’ve got about four different stories of what the heck happened and we’ll sort it all out when they get here. Until then stay in your seats and be quiet!”
“You’re going to expel them right? They broke my nose!” Brad whined in a nasally tone as he stood up and pointed at the bloody rag he had pressed to his face.
“When are your balls going to drop you prissy bitch?” Brittney shot back instantly.
The principal held up his hands and yelled out, “Not another word until parents are here!”
One of the football players held up his hand and gave Brittney the finger and she leapt to her feet causing the young man to duck back down in his chair with his hands over his face.
“Miss Beldamore! Butt on seat this instant and keep it there!” The principal said as he looked at her and pointed downward.
Brittney dropped back down with a huff and crossed her arms over her chest. She then crossed her toned legs and went back to pumping them as she glared at the back of the seat in front of her. Parents started to arrive and were allowed to briefly look their ward over before being asked to sit down so that we could start going over what actually happened. My mother gave me the disappointed and shocked look as I lowered the ice bag and let her see the black eye that was quickly forming on my face. She let out a startled gasp as she saw Brittney who was still speckled with blood from head to toe. Brad’s father stormed into the auditorium asking who he was going to sue and as Brad pointed to me, Kevin, and Brittney, my mother let out another disappointed sigh. Kevin’s father arrived and I was startled to see him in full military gear complete with side arm. He marched down the aisle and looked at Kevin from head to toe and asked, “Anything broken?”
“No Sir,” Kevin replied as he shook his head.
“Did you throw a punch?”
“Yes Sir. One Sir. I didn’t start it Sir.”
“I don’t remember asking if you started it,” Kevin’s father replied harshly, “Just sit there and be quiet while I find out what happened.”
“Well, we should be able to start now,” Brittney muttered as she looked around at everyone else’s parents. I slipped my hand in hers and squeezed as I knew most of the time her parents weren’t even in this state.
The football coach who had been inspecting his players stood up and looked at the principal, “What am I supposed to do about tonight’s game? My athletes are injured. They need to be getting treatment right now, not sitting here!”
Brad’s father yelled out, “My son has an important game to play! He’s the quarterback! He can’t be here dealing with which one of his assailants you’re going to kick out of school! Just get rid of them all!”
The coach nodded in agreement and yelled at the principal, “I mean, unless you want me to just call the other team right now and forfeit? Is that what you want?”
A loud voice called out from the back of the auditorium, “Absolutely, Coach Mills. You should call off tonight’s game and let them know that your boys got the stuffing beaten out of them by what… about half the cheerleading squad?” The man paused and then said, “You know what, I’ll take care of letting all the other teams in the conference know so that they’ll take it easy on your boys.”
Brittney’s face lit up and she jumped to her feet as she spun, “Dad?”
She rushed to the end of the row of seats and turned to sprint to him only to be grabbed by one of the assistant coaches and told to sit back down. She quickly kneed the man in the groin and darted up the walkway to the broad shouldered, dark haired man standing at the entrance doors. He embraced her tightly and then pulled her away from his chest to look at her face closely.
“Are you okay Princess?”
She nodded quickly as he studied her face and then started to look over the rest of her, “Is that your blood?”
She shook her head vigorously and he pulled up her hands to see her bruised knuckles and smiled at her, “Gave ‘em one to remember, huh?”
She smiled and dove back against his chest and hugged him tightly.
“She assaulted six football players!” Coach Mills yelled at the man.
Brad’s father stood up and shouted, “My son’s going to lose his chance at being all state because of her! I’m going to sue her and you and…”
“Oh sit the fuck down Fitzgerald! Your son has an ice cube’s chance in hell at being all state and the only one in this room who doesn’t realize that is you. You want to sue me or anyone else in this room and my legal team will crawl so far up your ass that you won’t be able to take a shit without written consent from a judge,” Mr. Beldamore said as he started to walk down to join the rest of us with one arm protectively draped over Brittney’s shoulders.
“Now, I’m supposed to be getting on a jet to fly to the other side of the country right now. Does someone who is not a complete moron want to tell me what I am doing here right now?” Brittney’s father glared at the principal.
“Well, um…” The principal swallowed and pulled at his tie, “You see, Mr. Beldamore, sir, there was a large fight involving some students and we’re trying to get to the root of what happened and come up with a…”
“Give me the file,” Brittney’s father said to the woman who was sitting well behind the rest of us in a section by herself. She quickly handed a manila file folder with a few papers in it to Mr. Beldamore who flipped it open and looked down, flipped a sheet of paper over, glanced at it, and then looked back up at the principal.
“Seems to me that those fuck knuckles,” he pointed to the football players, “grabbed the skinny kid,” He pointed to Kevin, “and started whooping his ass. Then the big one with only one eyebrow,” he pointed to Vince, “cold clocked my daughter’s best friend,” he pointed to me, “in the face. That’s when my daughter and the rest of these girls jumped in and the football players dropped their skirts and got their shit pushed in. Where is the great fucking mystery here? I don’t think we need Sherlock Holmes on this case.”
“Well you see Mr. Beldamore, sir, it’s a bit delicate because if we expel half of the football team the donors will…”
“Donors? Do you need more money, Mabus?” Brittney’s dad said with a shocked expression on his face, “Whose name is on the side of the auditorium we’re sitting in?”
“Whose name is on the side of the athletic field these boys play on?”
“Who signed the blank check for the new equipment for the science labs or donated the money for the updated computers?”
“Y…You did, sir.”
“If my Princess’s school needs more money you just have to ask, Mabus,” Brittney’s dad paused and sighed, “The football team is what, four and six right now? They suck hind tit. If that’s what you were banking on for donations than you’re even dumber than I thought you were. Are you really that stupid, Mabus?”
“N… No, I don’t think so sir.”
“Good! Now, I think I can see two courses of action here. We can either expel everyone who participated in the fight right now, which I can understand because these young men and women shouldn’t be acting like they were in a prison riot, OR we can let everyone off with a warning and both sides say they will leave the other alone and we can all move on with our lives.”
“Oh you’d like that, wouldn’t you? You’re daughter getting off with a slap on the wrist! You should hear her mouth! It’s unbelievable.” Mr. Fitzgerald said as he jumped up and pointed at Brittney.
“Well behaved women rarely make history Fitzgerald,” Brittney’s father said as he squeezed her shoulders tightly and then pointed back at Brad’s father, “And if you ever so much as point a finger at my Princess again I’ll make it a personal fucking vendetta to build car dealerships all the way around your little car lot and underprice you until you can’t sell a car in this county.”
Brad’s father opened his mouth to say something but Mr. Beldamore interrupted him before he could speak, “And if your moron fucking son tries to drink and drive while my Princess is in the back seat of his car again I will make certain the chief of police is at your door every morning and every night to give that idiot a breathalyzer test. You think he’ll pass them? Let’s go see what’s in his locker right now, shall we? He should be captain of the rehab center, not captain of the football team.”
Mr. Fitzgerald dropped his hand and lowered himself into the seat as he glared at Brittney’s father. Mr. Beldamore walked down in front of the entire group and looked back up at the parents and asked loudly, “Okay, if you want your son or daughter to get expelled, how about a show of hands?”
No one moved and so he called out again, “Well then, if you want your son or daughter to get back to class and move past this idiocy, and you’re going to personally make sure they don’t do something stupid again like getting in a fight with someone on the opposite side of the room, raise your hand,” Mr. Beldamore raised his hand and looked down at Brittney with a piercing gaze that told her in no uncertain terms she was not to be in another brawl.
I looked back to see my mother glaring at me as she raised her hand and noticed the rest of the parents, even Mr. Fitzgerald raising their hands.
“Good. Then let’s call this little scuffle water under the bridge. The football team will stop picking on the skinny little shit, and the cheerleading squad promises not to beat the crap out of the football team anymore. Case closed.” Mr. Beldamore said as he slapped his hands together loudly.
“Okay, you heard the man!” Principal Mabus said, “Everyone will have a few minutes to talk with their parents and then back to class!”
“We’re going to discuss this further with your father when he gets home. Don’t think you’re off that easy, missy,” my mother said as she hugged me, “I’m glad you’re okay but you are never to do something so stupid ever again.”
“Sorry, Mom,” I said as I wrapped my arms around her.
I looked over her shoulder and saw Kevin standing at attention in front of his Dad, “You’re going to be coming straight home after school today. The bags of cement in the corner of the yard need to be put in the shed. And tomorrow when you get home, you’re going to take the bags of cement from the shed and carry them to the corner of the yard. We’ll see how many days of doing that it takes until you’re too tired for this stupidity at school, do you understand?”
“Yes Sir,” Kevin replied in a dejected tone.
“Didn’t you just tell me the other week you were old enough to be on your own? And now you pull this crap? What the hell were you thinking?”
“I wasn’t Sir.”
“You’re damned right you weren’t,” He suddenly noticed Kevin glance to me and followed his eyes over to my face. He then looked back at Kevin and said, “Is this all over a girl?”
“Did you punch the guy that hit her?”
“One of them Sir,”
“Look son, everyone wants to be a knight in shining armor in front of a pretty girl, but she’s probably not even going to notice you. Keep your nose to the grindstone and keep your wheels in your own lane, understand?”
“Good. I’ve got to get back to the base. Tell your mom I’ll be home late, and I expect all the bags to be moved when I get home. No using the wheelbarrow.” He said as he pointed at Kevin who nodded and then the man pulled him into a quick hug, “I’m glad you’re okay. Don’t do it again.” And then he stepped back and quickly left the auditorium.
As Kevin’s father was leaving I saw Brittney’s father walk up to him and look him over intensely and then hold out his hand, “Young Mr. Carter?”
“Kevin, sir,” he replied as he took Mr. Beldamore’s hand and shook it quickly, “It’s nice to meet you.”
“We should talk Kevin,” Mr. Beldamore said, “But not here, and not now. I’ll be back in town in two days. Can you come by my house? I’ll talk to your parents if need be.”
“You’ll have to clear it with my father, sir. He runs a tight ship.” Kevin replied to him.
“I understand son. You should get to class,” Brittney’s father said and pointed to the doors.
Brittney and I exchanged glances, and then my mother said the same thing to me, “Amy, stop standing there gawking and get moving.”
“Okay, Mom,” I said and as I started to walk out I saw Brittney’s dad take the handkerchief out of his suit pocket and start to wipe at the blood smears on his daughter’s face as he said, “Don’t take crap from anyone, right Princess?”
“Not unless it’s the President or they have a bigger gun than me,” she replied with a nod.
“That’s my girl.”