The Faceman Chronicles: Face's Plan
Summary: Face's first plan takes place during his first year at high school.
Warning: Corporal punishment of a teenager.
About the middle of July Hannibal came in carrying a bag which he gave to his son.
Face peered in to see textbooks and workbooks. "What's this?"
"School will start in about six weeks and I want you to be prepared. Since we do not know what grade you should be in you will have to take tests to find out. These books and workbooks will help you to prepare."
Face pulled out books dealing with English grammar and literature, Math, History and Geography along with workbooks for each subject. "Hannibal I don't want to spend my last days of freedom studying." Face whined as he flipped through the pages.
"TEMPLETON PECK SMITH!"
"Uh, oh. It's never good when Mama calls you by your whole name, little brother."
Face looked up into the angry face of his Mama.
"You will do as your father says or we will have words like the last time you disobeyed him!"
"As I see it Facey, you have a choice of either sitting comfortable reading and studying or standing to do your studying. The choice is yours, but if I was you, I rather sit."
Face looked up to see his family staring at him and waiting. "Okay, okay…I'll study." And that is what he did for the next six weeks. He spent two to three hours daily on the subjects that when time came for him to take the tests he had no trouble and placed in the ninth grade.
"How do I look?" Face asked once again. It was Tuesday, the day after Labor Day and his first day of school since joining the army. He had asked each member of his family. He was a bit nervous and wanted to look his best…he wanted to fit in with kids his age.
"You look great, Facey."
On the ride to school Hannibal reminded Face that this school believed in corporal punishment and what Mrs. B had told him about getting into trouble at school meant more when he got home.
"You don't have to worry Hannibal; I'm going to behave. Trust me; I don't want to get paddled at school or home. Anyway, I survived the jungles of Vietnam I can do the same here. To quote you, 'It's going to be a piece of cake'."
Hannibal only nodded and hoped for the best. He knew that even though
Face didn't always go looking for trouble it seemed to find him nonetheless. "Okay, kid…have a great day and one of us will be back to pick you up at three o'clock."
Face nodded and took a big breath before getting out and walking into the school building. The boy knew where his homeroom was as well as where all his classes were held and knew he wouldn't have any trouble getting there on time. He hurried to his homeroom taking a seat in the back and watched as the room filled up. No one took any notice of him. He watched as a trio of girls entered all talking at once and decided that they must be friends since they sat together. There was a blond, a brunette and a redhead. It wasn't until roll call that he learned their names. The blond was Kathy Simmons, the brunette was Cindy Williams, and the redhead was Debbie Brister. He noted that the boy sitting next to him with a friendly but shy face was Timmy Parker. A larger boy, who sauntered in nearly late, was Jake Davis and the two boys following him were Tommy Bennett and Joey Stevens. It was apparent to Face that these kids had known each other from grammar school from the way they acted together. He had to stifle a laugh when Jake tried to get Kathy to notice him only to be rebuffed by the blond. It was obvious that Kathy didn't like him and said: "get lost Jake."
Nobody seemed interested in him until the roll call when his name was called then the whole room turned and stared at him. There were a few friendly faces like Timmy and the three girls. He smiled back and hoped he would get to know them better.
Face's first two classes were Math and History which he shared with the girls, Timmy and Jake. He noticed where Jake paused at Timmy's desk to whisper something to him that caused Timmy to frown but nod. This also happened in the next class and wondered what was going on.
After History came PE and Face learned that Jake and his two friends were jocks, sports were what they were good at and that they played to hurt anyone who stood in their way as he found out when he was pushed down during the basketball game they were playing. A foul that was overlooked by the coach.
'Okay, if you want to play dirty, I can, too,' thought Face as he took the ball and managed to run circles around Jake and his buddies. Face was in better shape than Jake and quickly scored again and again, making sure to foul Jake along the way a couple of times. Those fouls were overlooked as well.
The game was called to give the boys time to shower before lunch. "Hey Pretty Boy I didn't appreciate that jab you gave me as you went to score. You had better watch it!"
"I didn't appreciate the push at the beginning either. I figure that we are even, and my name is Templeton, not Pretty Boy."
Jake did a double take; he wasn't used to being talked back to. He would have to watch this kid or the others he had been bullying might get ideas.
Face was able to shower and get out before Jake, or his friends could get a hold of him and headed for the cafeteria. He soon had a tray full of food and was looking for a place to sit. As he passed the table where the three girls were sitting they called out, "we have room here, why don't you join us, Templeton."
By the time Jake and his buddies came in Face was talking up a storm with the girls and having a great time. "Look at that; I've been trying to get a date with Kathy since the seventh grade, and she won't even give me the time of the day. She won't even talk to me except to insult me but Pretty Boy there has her talking, in fact they all are. Even Timmy Parker is sitting there. They seem to be having a grand old time."
"Maybe we should do something to him about being not so pretty."
"You might have something there, Tommy. But I can't afford to get in trouble here my Dad will make good his promise to send me to a military school. But maybe we can get him in trouble with the vice principal. Just wait until he gets a taste of Mr. Matthews' paddle."
Jake waited until Face had got up to put his empty tray up before he tripped him,
causing him to fall. Face got up to confront his abuser, "You tripped me!"
"You should watch where you walk."
"I was watching; you trip me at the last moment."
"Prove it and while we are at it stop talking to my girl!"
"Your girl? I know you aren't talking about Kathy, Cindy or Debbie. There is no way they would want anyone like you as a boyfriend."
"I ought…" Jake was about to take a swing at Face when Vice Principal Matthews walked into the cafeteria towards the two boys. 'Here is my chance to get Pretty Boy into trouble', he thought and pushed Face who took it as the beginning of a fight and struck back hitting Jake in the face.
Face froze as the Vice Principal approach. "You come with me, Smith and I will explain about fighting in school."
"He started it." Face pointed to Jake.
"I saw him push you away, but you hit him. You threw the first punch and in my book you get paddled."
"Mr. Matthews!" It was Kathy. She ran to the vice principal.
"Templeton didn't cause it. He was walking to take the tray back when Jake tripped him…on purpose, I may add. I saw the whole thing!"
The vice principal paused to consider what he had been told balanced with what he saw. "Okay Smith, I'll give you the benefit of doubt this time but don't let me catch you doing anything wrong again or I won't be so easy on you."
"Thank you sir."
As soon as the vice principal walked away, Face turned to Kathy to thank her. "Thanks so very much, you saved my butt. My mama would not have been happy to learn that I got in trouble on the first day of school. She had promised me a paddling if I got paddled at school if it was my fault. Your intervention saved me."
The rest of the day went well with Face as he got to know his classmates better and gained another friend, Timmy's friend Neal Burke.