Again, if you are just tuning in, start here.
When the day finally ended, and I finally got home, I was pleasantly surprised to see my mom’s car in the driveway. Heads were going to roll.
I ran in the house, threw my bag on the table and charged upstairs to my mom’s room. Her bedroom door was open and I ran in.
She looked up from the bills she was writing out, “What the hell is wrong with you?”
“I have to talk to you about something.” I said.
“What? Did you get in trouble in school?” She was already getting irritated. Good.
“Not really, but there was a problem.”
“What? What the hell happened?”
So I told her. I told her everything, even what could potentially get me in trouble. I told her about pushing David, I told her about me offering the cigarette, about yelling at Stup. Everything. I left nothing out that I could remember because I knew if I did, and she found out, there would be hell to pay and she would be the collector.
After I finished up, she was looking at me in what best could be described as stunned disbelief. She said, “Go downstairs and get me a pen, a notebook and the phonebook.”
When I handed her the items, she opened up the notebook, took the cap off the pen and said, “Tell me again.”
I did. And this time, she took notes.
After I went through the whole deal again (with her telling me to slow down at times), my mom asked me, “Do you know what time Mr. Stup leaves for the day?”
“I have no idea. I think he leaves at five, though.” I had no idea. I don’t even know why I said five. I probably said five because it was before five at the time, and I was just hoping he didn’t leave until five.
My mom opened up the phonebook, flipped through it, found the number of the school and wrote it down. I just stood there watching, not breathing a word. I was planning on staying for the show.
My mom reached for the phone and stopped. She looked up at me. “Leave. And shut the door.”
I turned around and walked out of the room, shutting the door behind me. I knew from my mother’s tone that she was in the zone. There was no way I was going to question anything she asked of me. There was also no way I was going to miss what she said.
I walked across the hallway to my room, opened the door, waited a beat, then shut it. I then crept back across the hallway, praying the floorboards wouldn’t creek. The didn’t.
I pressed my ear against my mother’s door. As I only heard the one side, it was all of my mother talking. But, then again, I don’t think Stup got too many words in…
“Is Mr. Stup still there?
Yes. I’ll hold…”
Yes. He was still there. I silently thanked God.
“Mr. Stup? Yes, my name is Nancy Redrum, I’m Stewie’s mother. He told me something today that, well, if I didn’t know my son, I would think he was lying…”
Mr. Stup must have started saying something at this point, but my mom cut him off.
“Wait. Wait a damn minute. I wasn’t finished. As I saying, if he wasn’t my son, I’d think he was lying. He told me that you accused him of ‘touching’ a mentally disabled kid on the bus. Is that true?”
Stup only had time for a yes.
“He also said that not only did you accuse him of this, but you did it with your door open. And you yelled at him, saying you knew he did it. Is this also true?”
Again, Stup got in his yes.
“So tell me, Mr. Stup, is it a policy of the school to take the word of a mentally retarded child over the word of an honor roll student? I need to know. Is that what the school’s policy is? To yell at a student with nothing but the word of a mentally disabled child? Is it? Is that your policy?”
I have no idea what Stup was saying to this, but whatever it was, it wasn’t for long.
“Let me tell you something. Because of your incompetence, the whole damn school knows what you accused my son of. Can you possibly fathom how embarassing that is? Can you fathom how unprofessional what you did was?”
Again, Stup spoke here, but he didn’t say much.
“Oh don’t give me that bullshit. There’s always one who will believe anything. So, right now, there is at least one student in that school who thinks my son touched that boy because of you. Because of you. What in the hell were you thinking yelling at him with the door open? Were you thinking at all? Apparently you weren’t.
“And you still haven’t told me why you just accused my son of touching that boy without even asking him first. You still haven’t explained that one. My son has never been in trouble in your school, and you just took the word of that boy without even checking your facts.”
Stup must have said something about my mouth at this point.
“Oh, is that what you are saying? You are saying because he has a smart mouth he is a molester? He doesn’t deserve the benefit of the doubt? Especially in a case like this? What the hell is wrong with you? Are you retarded? It’s fine if you are, I just need to know if that’s why you are biased.”
Stup told her he wasn’t retarded.
“Well that’s good to know because I was beginning to wonder…” She started to say something else, but I think her sixth sense kicked in.
“Hold on,” she said. It wasn’t a request, it wasn’t a demand, it was just how it was. Stup was to hold on.
I didn’t even hear her get off the bed and come to the door, I just remember almost falling when she opened the door up on me.
She didn’t say a word, she just glared at me.
I went downstairs, went outside and rode my bike around for awhile.
When I got home, my mom was just putting dinner on the table. My dad and my sister were already sitting down.
“What’s up, Chester?” My sister said.
“Kelli!” My parents yelled in unison. She shutup, but I could tell that wasn’t it from her.
My mom looked at me and said, “Tomorrow Mr. Stup wants to see you before you go to homeroom. Don’t be an ass.”
“Thanks, mom.” I said.
“No, no problem. I enjoyed it.” And I knew she did.
The next day at school I headed straight to the office when I arrived and asked to speak to Mr. Stup.
“He’s waiting for you, just head on back.”
I went back to his office and saw him filling out some papers.
“Come on in, Stewie!” He said. He was smiling the fakest smile I have ever seen in my life.
“Look, about yesterday,” he continued. “I apologize. I was way out of line. I have no excuse for acting the way I did and I just want to let you know I’m sorry and it won’t happen again.”
He was still smiling as he said that, but I could tell it was absolutely killing him. The smile didn’t reach his eyes. The only thing I saw in his eyes was anger and embarrassment.
My smile, however, was genuine. Not only did it reach my eyes, I’m willing to bet it reached my eyebrows and forehead, too.
“Sounds good,” I said. I wasn’t going to push it. I got him good. Well, my mom did, but she did because of me, so that rocked.
He put his hand out to me. “Still friends?”
I looked at his hand.
“Uh, no. I’ve never liked you Mr. Stup. I was never your friend. But we can put yesterday behind us.”
I think I danced dangerously close to what my mom was talking about when she said “don’t be an ass,” but the way I look at it is I wasn’t going to shake some asshole’s hand just because they throw it out to me.
He pulled his hand back and his smile disappeared.
“You can go to homeroom, now.”
“Thanks,” I said, smiling again, “you have a great day.”
I know I did.