I stayed after school to serve my detention, with Mr. Neese.
“I’ll be outside by the main entrance, waiting. Come out when your detention’s over,” he said as he walked out the classroom.
I stayed in my seat and waited. Mr. Neese came to my desk and set a book down along with paper and pencil. “Copy pages twenty through thirty-five. Just copy the words. No subtitles or pictures.” he turned around and walked to his desk.
I read the cover “Basic Sociology Grades 9-12” I remember copying some pages out of this book in tenth grade, but I didn’t have to copy fifteen pages.
Without wasting anymore time, I flipped to page twenty and started. I copied five pages with ease, but when I got up to the sixth page my arm started to get sore. Mr. Neese came by to give me more paper, and didn’t seem the slightest bit concern for the pain in my arm. He just walked off without a word.
When my thirty minutes was over I had copied about eleven pages front and back. Mr. Neese came by again, he snatched the papers and the book off my desk. Then he just walked away. I headed towards the door with my stuff and walked out. When I got to the main entrance I saw Justin. He was listening to some music, while leaning against the concrete wall. I pushed open the door and winced at the pain, which was finally edging in. Justin must of have heard the door open because the next thing I knew, he was walking towards me with an adoring smile. He saw my arm, which was now red and hot and said, “Here, let me help you with that load.” He stuck his arms out.
“Thanks,” I set my books on top of his arms, and immediately held my right arm.
We started walking home. The silence was unbearable, but my arm was worse. I guess I really hated the silence because it was just…awkward.
“Hey, if you want, we could put some ice on it. It helps,” he offered, without looking at me.
I just nodded my head. Funny, Justin never asked what the punishment was, but just kept walking.
When I got to my house, I quickly dropped off my books, and told my mom I was going to Justin’s. She didn’t really object, she just said okay, have fun.
Justin led me to his room, once inside. We walked pass his parents who were in the living room. I nervously smiled when I passed them. In return, they beamed a smile back. They seemed nice, and their friendly smile must be where Justin gets his. Justin lead me to his room.
“Here,” he offered handing me one of the two laptops, “You can start researching, I‘ll go get the ice.”
“Thanks,” I mumbled, looking around his room. I scanned it really fast, not really paying any attention to anything. Justin came back with a towel wrapped around a bag of ice. He set the bag on my arm, and I instinctively jerked my arm away. Way cold. He tried placing it back onto my arm again and this time, knowing how cold it would be, I forced my arm to stay put.
We spent the rest of the afternoon, researching and getting the essay typed up, quietly. I paused, and looked at what Justin had written. For the first time, I noticed that his handwriting was messy but neat. I wondered how that was possible! I pushed that thought to the back of my head with the rest of my thoughts about him were. I seemed to notice the small details about him, not the big ones. When we finished, I took the time to glance around at Justin’s room. He had a variety of posters, all with different designs. But a poster that really caught my eye was a pink heart on a pitch black background. Under it, it had white words that said: YOU KNOW WHEN YOU’VE FOUND LOVE.
I guess I was staring at the poster for a while since the next thing I heard Justin say was, “You can have it, if you want it. It was my sister’s. She gave it to me when she left for college. She thought I would be single for the rest of my life,” he shrugged when I glanced questionably at him.
“Just take it,” he urged taking down the poster and handing it to me.
I stood there with the rolled up poster in my hands awkwardly, “Err, thanks, but isn’t it really important to you? Your sister gave it to you.” I mumbled embarrassed.
“Yeah sure, no problem, and yes, it is important, but I think you should keep it,” Justin smiled, walking back over to his desk to shut his laptop. I thought that there was something hidden behind that, but I just smiled back. After awhile of silence Justin blurted out randomly, “Zach Camson was your boyfriend right?”