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A Trip to the Grocery Store Part I
An R.L. Mathewson Chronicle
“You’re expelling my children?” Trevor asked, sure that he’d misheard the man shifting nervously across from him.
“Well,” Principal Anderson started only to pause as he noticeably swallowed, “not exactly.”
“Then they can return?” Trevor asked slowly, wondering when the man was going to start making sense.
“Yes,” Principal Anderson said with obvious relief as he nodded enthusiastically. “Just not for a week,” he added with an apologetic smile.
“So, you’re suspending them?” Trevor asked, wondering if that was even possible.
“Well, no,” he said with a frown that only confused him more.
“Then what the hell are you doing?” Trevor demanded, quickly running out of patience as he glared at the man who’d called him at work and demanded that he come to the school immediately.
Thinking that his boys had been hurt, he’d rushed to the school only to find his oldest sons, Sebastian and Johnny, sitting on the bench in front of the main office, looking a little too innocent for his comfort. When he’d asked the secretary what was going on, she started trembling and muttering something about demon spawn and some other nonsense that he really couldn’t understand. The two women huddled in the far corner, holding onto each other as they sobbed hysterically hadn’t been much help either. For about thirty seconds he’d considered asking his boys what happened, but those damn smiles on their faces kept him from asking.
“We’re simply asking you to keep your sons home for a week,” Principal Anderson explained, only to pause and add, “make that two weeks.”
“There’s only two more weeks of school left,” Trevor pointed out, confused as hell and suddenly in need of a drink.
“Yes, well,” the other man said, clearing his throat nervously before he continued. “We just feel that it might be for the best for everyone involved if Sebastian and Johnny spent the rest of the year at home.”
“So, this isn’t a suspension?”
“No,” Principal Anderson said, shaking his head as he pursed his lips up in thought, obviously looking for the right words. “Think of it as a favor.”
“A favor?” Trevor repeated dryly, wondering how keeping his eight-year-old boys out of school for two weeks was doing anyone a favor. It sure as hell wouldn’t be doing his wife a favor since she was going to be the one stuck looking after the boys a full two weeks earlier than expected.
Christ, she was going to kill him for this….
“Yes, well,” Principal Anderson said, going back to shifting nervously as he explained, “the thing of it is, if you don’t promise to keep the boys home for the next two weeks, the teachers and all the staff have threatened to go on strike.”
“On strike?” he repeated numbly, sure that he’d misheard.
“Yes, so as you can see, my hands are tied on this one. It’s either I send the boys home to finish out the school year or I face a strike.”
He dropped his face in his hands, wondering how two little boys could push a school full of teachers to this point. Even for a Bradford that had been banned from restaurants, theme parks, churches, historical landmarks, counties, cities and whole states, that was unbelievably terrifying.
“What the hell did they do?” he asked, even though he wasn’t sure that he wanted to hear the answer.
“I think it would be for the best if we never spoke of this incident again. In fact, I’ve already arranged to have their records sealed,” he heard the principal explain while he struggled to make sense of this whole mess.
“What about next year?” Trevor asked, wondering how the school was going to handle the boys next year when they returned.
The sound of a throat clearing, drew Trevor’s attention back to the man sitting across from him. “About that, we’ve decided after careful consideration that Sebastian and Johnny would benefit from skipping the fourth grade.”
“They’re skipping a grade?” he asked, stunned.
“Yes, we felt that based on their test scores that they would benefit from a more challenging environment,” Principal Anderson said, looking pleased with himself.
“I see,” Trevor said, somewhat relieved that the school had given him a decent enough bullshit story to explain to his wife why the last two weeks of peace and quiet were suddenly being ripped away from her.
“Good, good,” Principal Anderson said absently as he came to his feet and gestured rather impatiently for Trevor to do the same. “I apologize for rushing you out, but the teachers and staff gave me until one o’clock to have this taken care of or they walk,” he explained with a sheepish smile as he once again gestured for Trevor to leave.
He opened his mouth to ask about his other children, but decided not to push his luck. Without the oldest boys here to keep the younger children in line, they’d probably destroy the school within the week. This man would figure out his mistake soon enough.
Until then, he needed to figure out the best way to explain this to his wife, something that wouldn’t have her going for his balls would be preferable.
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