Special thanks to @snow-into-ash who beta’d for me despite having an actual life this week, I really appreciate it!!!
rated T for language
She’s zeroed in on the stinging of her knuckles when the hall monitor grabs her by the collar of her flannel.
“Seriously, Swan?” It’s Leroy. It’s always Leroy, and the idea of calling hall monitors by their first name to establish equality is the weirdest thing she’s ever heard. She doesn’t need to feel equal to a middle-aged grumpy man.
“He grabbed my ass! I don’t hear you saying ‘Seriously, nameless-jerk-who-can’t-keep-his-hands-to-himself.”
“My name is August!” Mr. Nameless-jerk yells. Honestly, the anonymity was working for her. Now there’s an actual person, with a name, having a flathead screwdriver removed from his bicep. Now there’s a set of parents who are going to flip out and get her expelled from another school.
“No one asked you, August!” she shoots back and he actually flinches. He doesn’t seem so handsy now. If he starts to act like the victim here, she’ll be forced to stab him again.
“You know the deal.” Leroy shoves her like suddenly violence is okay. She brushes him off and marches out of shop class towards Principal Mills’ office.
When she gets there, there’s this boy dressed in all black, with his dark hair and a sad expression. She slumps on the bench beside him and he brings his knees together to allow for space. It’s more than the grown men on the city bus do on her way home, so she figures he’s worth a chat.