Meagan's breath caught in her throat as all light left the room, which left her and Mr. Hassling together in a darkened, monochrome negative of what made up the world just moments before. The center of the room -- just in front of Meagan's seat in front of Mr. Hassling's desk -- bulged and throbbed as if in rhythm to its own private pulse. There was an instant where each shadow, nearly lost in her peripheral vision, screamed in total agony, the screeching of eternal damnation, as if watching their souls rip from their very bodies.
Her eyes rolled and sweat broke out on her upper lip. Her mouth moved, perhaps to breathe, perhaps to speak, but it didn't matter because her body was incapable of either. She tried to control her breathing and think rationally, but the room rolled away from her before she could even tell herself that it was just some random coincidence.
"It doesn't really matter who the other driver was. The main thing is Stacy's okay. Now, as I was saying..."
Meagan had to get up. She hadn't known it beforehand, but suddenly her legs were overwhelmed with a rush of adrenaline and they countered her urge to sink into the overstuffed pleather loveseat and maybe hide forever under the rug. Her lips moved, and this time she did say something, but before she could get her bearings she was out the door and past the office, where she dimly heard Miss Patterson's voice behind her, calling her name, "Meagan? What are you doing? Where are you going? Meagan?"
And, to someone else, "Did she just say she had to leave? Whatever for?"
Meagan pushed through the office door and pointed her feet toward the front doors of the school. They beckoned silently to her.
"Meagan! Now you listen here! I was overly lenient on you because of your good history! Does this need to become a police matter? Because it very easily could. Nw you get your ass back here this instant!" Mr. Hassling's voice sounded considerably different than usual; he must have been under a tremendous amount of stress.
Ha! Meagan frowned as she burst through the front doors and felt the cool, damp air on her cheeks, stress?! What does he know about stress?! I have had the worst couple of days ever! I have been outed and humiliated in front of the entire school BY MY BEST FRIEND! I have watched as closed-minded assholes put my new friend in the hospital with a serious head injury! And now there's a good chance my mother has been involved in a car accident while I endure the hellfest that my life has become in solitude.
So his little precious future Ivy-Leaguer gets into a horrible insurance claim -- boo-hoo -- and he thinks HE knows stress?!
Meagan whirled around, now at the sidewalk at the edge of school grounds, and her face was a mess of snot and tears, plus a little quivering overbite. She stared hard at that squat brick building with a burning contempt and a new-found strength of will. In one last show of defiance for the day, she screamed until her throat was raw and hot, "YOU DON'T KNOW SHIT!" and punched the air around her as if fighting off the demons in her life. Then she held one fist aloft and flipped her middle finger proudly in the air, in hopes everyone inside could see it. It was not directed at the entire population, but near enough. Screw them all, she had shit to do.