"Leila! Leila! Leila, stop!" She heard the screams but still pulled her arm back for another punch. Someone's arms grabbed Leila from behind and lifted her off a now crying Katie. A supervisor helped Katie to her feet and examined her bloody lip before leading her into the school.
As soon as Leila saw the blood on Katie's lip, she began to cry. Leila didn't know who was holding her, but she suddenly went limp in their arms. Horrible sobs wrecked through her body and she kept saying over and over through her tears, "I didn't mean to. I didn't mean to. I'm sorry, I'm so sorry. I didn't mean to. I didn't mean to."
Distantly, Leila heard a voice say to the group of kids that had gathered around to go away, back to their games. Leila knew what would happen though. The kids would walk off in groups, gossiping about ordeal that had just happened. The supervisor took Leila, rather tightly, by the hand and led her inside the building. With her free hand, Leila was wiping tears off from her face.
"I didn't mean to, I didn't mean to. I didn't mean to."
The supervisor walked into the office and sat Leila down in a chair there. The secretary who was back from helping clean up Katie looked at Leila with her eyes wide. Apparently, Leila was the least likely child thought to physically attack another student. "What happened?"
Leila zoned out, suddenly very exhausted, and didn't hear the supervisor's account of it. She heard the secretary tell the supervisor to go and find Miss Fairway. The supervisor left, leaving Leila alone with the secretary. Leila could hear Katie crying from inside the principal’s office. After a short while, Miss Fairway hustled into the office.
"Leila," she said. She squat down in front of Leila and looked at her. "Leila, what happened?"
Leila looked away from Miss Fairway and did not answer. The door to the principal’s office opened and Katie emerged, holding a small bag of ice to her swelling lip. She glared at Leila and said, "You monster."
"Katie," Mr. Johns, the principle said. "Why don't you sit out here for a little bit while I talk to Leila?"
Katie huffed and took the seat furthest from Leila, shooting her glares every now and then.
"Leila?" Mr. Johns asked. Rather reluctantly, Leila stood up and entered the principal’s office.
"Now, Leila," Mr. Johns said, "can you tell me what happened? Katie said you punched her. Did you?"
Leila did not answer.
"Leila, I need you to answer me. Did you punch Katie in the face?"
Leila sighed. "Yes, but --"
"You know that punching is not allowed or acceptable here, right?"
"Yes, but Mr. Johns --"
"I don't want to hear any 'buts', Leila. You knew that punching was wrong and you did it anyways."
"She deserved it," Leila muttered to herself.
"What was that?" Mr. Johns asked. "Leila, did you say she deserved to be hit?"
Leila looked Mr. Johns in the eyes. "Yes," she said.
"Leila," there was shock in Mr. John's voice. "Nobody, ever, ever deserves to be hit. If she made you angry you could have told her so. We are supposed to use are words, not our fists."
Leila had stopped listening. 'Nobody deserves to be hit'. 'Nobody deserves to be hit'. And suddenly, she couldn't help it, she was on the floor of Mr. Johns office, crying. And suddenly, Miss Fairway was there, helping Leila back into her seat.
"Leila, what's wrong? Here," she handed Leila a couple of tissues. Leila shoved them away, willing to let every tear fall. “Leila,” Miss Fairway said, “Leila, please talk to me.”
“I don’t want to talk to anyone,” Leila said. She sniffed a couple of times and finished wiping the tears off her face.
Miss Fairway said, “You may not want to talk to anyone, Leila, but I think you need to.”
Leila looked up at Miss Fairway. “I’m so sorry, Miss Fairway. I didn’t mean to do it. I didn’t want to hurt her.”
“I believe you, Leila,” Miss Fairway said. “But we’ve already called your father, he’s going to come pick you up and we’ll talk to him. I’m sorry, but we can’t let this going unpunished.”