Normally, something stolen out of a classroom wouldn’t mean that much to me. Not that it happened a lot, but it didn’t really affect me, and I mean, I was in high school. So things not affecting me didn’t bother me. But this time, this time was different. Mrs. King begged and pleaded for that poster back, she cried – real tears – and gave us lectures on being disrespectful. And I can’t help it, I’m a sucker for when people cry. I felt bad for her. And I don’t know if it’s because of that feeling bad or what, but I happened to be privileged (ha!) enough to hear some kids talking about the stolen bus a few classes later. I was sitting in computer tech when the boy sitting next to me let the words “Alex Casey stole the bus…” slip from his lips.
It was just one of those moments, you know? Where you’re faced with a choice. To tell, or not to tell? Obviously we all know what the right thing to do was. But in high school, there are consequences for these kind of things. If I told, and someone ever found out, I would go down in history as the biggest tattle tale ever. I mean, this stolen bus was a big deal. Mrs. King was CRYING. Either you loved that the bus was stolen, or you didn’t. There wasn’t an in between. I would be a social pariah if this was found out. (Or so I thought? Maybe I was dramatic. But seriously, this was HIGH SCHOOL people.)
So I told. I just told her. I walked up to her after class and told her his name. And then I never spoke another word about it, except to my best friend Jill. In fact, I never thought about that moment again until spring semester, freshman year, after watching Alex Casey walk out my door for maybe the third time.
That moment when it all came flooding back to me was a funny one. I shut the door slowly, and turned to face my roommates. And then I told them the whole story. They were shocked, considering about half of them went to my high school as well, and could remember that time clearly. But we all thought it was quite hilarious! I considered telling Alex… but I didn’t know him that well, so I wasn’t sure if he was a grudge holder or anything. My lips would remain zipped for weeks.
A few days later when Alex was over hanging out with all of us, he brought up the bus story. I don’t remember how or why, but suddenly there he was, talking about it, having no idea that I had any part in it, and I wanted to run out of the room as quickly as possible. However, I needed to remain cool, in order to save face, so I pretended I was as interested in this story as anyone else. But oh, the horror! Apparently he had gotten into HUGE trouble because of this bus. He had to return it, apologize in person, have a meeting with the principal, and he got kicked out of Honors English for the REST OF HIGH SCHOOL. He was sure it was because of being told on from a boy named Matthew Bean, and he had never forgiven him for such an action.
That was when I made the vow that I would never ever ever tell Alex it was me.
p.s. may seems really far away right now...