I'm feeling particulary inspired today. I've written another short. I hope you enjoy.
Tales From the Sixth Grade Lunchroom
BY J.T. 11/25/06
I watched Sybil from the opposite side of the lunch table. She didn’t look so mean to me. I was careful not to make eye contact. Lakisha told me she’d be liable to kick my ass if she thought I was staring her down. I’m not afraid of her, but I’m new here and I don’t want no trouble.
There’s been a lot of talk about this junior high school, ‘specially about all the juvenile delinquents that go here. Momma couldn’t afford Xavier Childs anymore after she got laid off. I told her that I understood. Besides I wasn’t Catholic anyway. I’m Baptist. Mass was kind of boring, though I didn’t let on.
Lakisha nudged me when Sybil got up from the table. “She looking pretty pissed of Valerie…damn girl don’t stare at her. I told you she liable to smack the black of you if she catch you staring…I’m telling you from experience.”
I don’t know what possessed me, but I got up too. I knew she was heading towards the snack line. I wanted to see how she was for myself. Lakisha just sucked her teeth when I got up. “You go right ahead, Val, I’ll notify your next of kin.”
I kind of rushed so I was standing right behind Sybil. She was pretty tall for the 6th grade, taller than most of the boys. She still hadn’t shed all of her baby fat either. Her cheeks proved that. Sybil had some pretty extensions. Must have been human hair too.
I touched my own hair out of habit. Momma couldn’t afford for me to go to the beauty parlor no more so I let my older cousin Lillian do it for me. She permed it too. Momma wasn’t so happy about that, but I was. The relaxer burned, but my hair looked so cute after it was done. I don’t really have to do much with it anymore. I just throw it in a ponytail and keep it moving.
I was standing right behind Sybil when she got her ice cream. Lakisha told me she was liable to steal people’s money to finance her ice cream habit. So standing right behind her made me really nervous. After she bought her toasted almond bar she turned right around and looked me in the face.
Well I was pretty scared. I was hoping she didn’t clock me too hard, but I played it off real cool. She was about three inches taller than me, me being 5’5”. I was used to fighting my male cousins so I figured I could rumble with her if it went that far.
She was prettier than I expected, with the mean wiped off her face. She peeled back the ice cream and ate it, as though she was waiting for a friend.
I asked for strawberry shortcake and put my change in my pocket. Then she stopped staring. I followed behind her. She walked a few feet before turning around. “Catholic Girl watch your back. These bitches in here jealous. If anybody bother you let me know and I’ll fuck ‘em up.”
I was completely caught off guard. So much so that I couldn’t speak. Sybil just laughed and walked back towards the lunch table.
I finished my ice cream in peace, beside Lakisha asking me what Sybil had said to me. I didn’t really know what made me do it, but I got up and went to sit with Sybil.
Lakisha’s jaw dropped. I’m sure everyone elses did too, ‘cept Sybil. She just welcomed her new recruit.
Lakisha mouthed to me from across the table that it was a setup. She didn’t trust Sybil as far as she could throw her. Maybe that or she was jealous that I had found another friend.
I followed behind Sybil like a lost puppy. We were walking up the stairs when Cynthia Nunez dropped her books and her posse came towards me. “Yo Catholic Girl why you skip me in the lunch line. I should fuck you up.”
The crowd oohed and aahed.
I handed my books to Sybil. Sybil handed them towards Lakisha. Lakisha dropped them on the floor and was ready to rumble.
I stepped forward. “I don’t know who you are or what you are talking about, but I didn’t skip nobody in no line.”
Cynthia stepped up, “Act like you want it Catholic Girl.” She threw up her hands.
Sybil said to me, “Whoop that bitches ass Catholic Girl.” And that’s exactly what I did. I whooped her ass in the stairwell and nobody was going to jump in knowing that Sybil had my back.
I grabbed hold of her and started throwing hailmakers. She was getting hit so much and so hard that she just covered her face. I grabbed her by her hair and flung her into the wall. “I skipped you bitch?”
Lakisha and Sybil pulled me off her. Sybil threw her arm around me (as she ushered me upstairs. “You ain’t no joke Catholic Girl…You ain’t no joke.”
We walked off into the sunset leaving Cynthia’s posse to lick her wounds (and no doubt to plot revenge).