Fourteen: The Girl Can Hit

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"In the first place, God made idiots. That was for practice. Then he made school boards."

~Mark Twain



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I never thought I'd consider a day at Red Ribbon's to be a "day off", but as I walk into Percival, I'm upset that Principal Douglas is ruining my "day off".

I get that kids shouldn't rip each other's throats out, alright? It's not like I condone fighting. But hey, kids are kids. And honestly, a shiner or two will teach them a better lesson about life than going to some stupid principal's office and getting a day off from school.

One time I saw two drunk women brawling at a quinceanera because they were both arguing over the same guy. Who had a life sentence in jail.

I'm sure we all learned some sort of lesson from that circumstance, and those two women most of all. Like the fact that a four-tiered cake is not the best place to fling a full-grown person.

And I'm still a little mad at Sacha for what she said about me and Finn. That's the worst part about being single; if you dare make eye contact with someone, it's basically as good as getting down on one knee with a wedding ring and plane tickets to a honeymoon in Tahiti.

"I'm here to pick up Jemma Stetson," I say to the woman at the front desk, rapping my knuckles on the laminate surface.

"One moment, please," she says, wheeling her chair away and going to the phone.

As I wait, I pop open the cap of a Smencil tube. The smelly pencil inside has an orange scent, which immediately transports me back to fifth grade, when everyone was using the same gray paper pencils. Sacha and I collected the empty tubes people had left behind and put all our regular no.2 pencils inside. We never payed for a real Smencil, but all our writing utensils still smelled amazing.

I'm shocked they still have them.

"Jemma's in the office with Principal Douglas," the front desk lady informs.

I set my brow and make my way down the short hallway to a door that says "Principal's Office" in neat, golden letters.

I open the door without knocking.

"Come on Jemma, let's go home," I say.

Jemma's blue head turns in her seat to look at me. Her brown eyes are fiery with anger.

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