“I’m not going back,” I told my mother.

“Calvin.” She sighed. “You have to go back, so let’s talk about how we can work this out. I’ll call the principal in the morning and make an appointment to talk with him.”

“I won’t go! Ever!”

I lay under my covers.

“Please,” she continued. “Be reasonable. You have to go to school. And everyone has to deal with bullies eventually. It seems huge now, but as it unfolds and you take steps to resolve the problem, it will become more manageable.”

“I won’t go!” I repeated.

“I’ll give you a little time.”

I heard her footsteps leaving the room. I imagined not running, not climbing the fence, but staying to fight. I ducked and dodged to avoid the gargantuan fists. Straightening up tall, my hand chopped the larger boy on the side of the neck, and the bully melted into a pile of sand.

My breath came back to me, warm under the blankets, and my heavy eyes closed. Sleep caught me. No dreams bothered to haunt me.

I woke with a start. The light startled me, leaving me blinking, and disoriented.

“I am not going to let you hide under your blankets,” my mother stated. She stomped out of the room comforter in hand.

I sat, then stood, and then hurried out of the room, not following my mother, but heading out the back door. The cool air of early evening met me. My eyes raced about looking for a place to hide. 


I arrived at the railroad tracks out of breath.



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