Harry groaned at the shrill beeping of his alarm clock. He reached over and slammed his fist on it. Immediately it shut off. He rolled out of bed and looked out the window. Last night's snow had fallen nicely onto the ground, creating a perfect white blanket. Gently, the snow continued to fall. Harry walked away from the window and into the bathroom to wash his face. He brushed his teeth and changed into a suit and a dark gray tie. Harry examined himself in the mirror. He grabbed a comb that lay on his dresser, and began running it through his messy, dark brown hair. His hair wouldn't cooperate. It continued to stand up in different places. "Fuck." Realizing he would be late, Harry threw the comb on the bed and left his bedroom. He walked to the main door and just before opening it; he grabbed a bagel and left his small, crammed apartment.
He shambled into the Teacher's Lounge, clutching his briefcase at his right hand and at the same time, holding the newspaper in his left. Among the loud chatter and the noise outside in the hall, no one seemed to notice his entrance. Harry plopped right down on the couch and opened up his paper. After only scanning the pages for a few seconds, Ronnie sat down next to him with her cup of coffee in her hand.
"Hey," she cheerfully greeted.
"Hey," Harry mumbled, not looking up from his paper. Ronnie took a sip of her coffee. "What's up?"
"Nothing, just, reading up on how our world is so civilized," Harry said sarcastically. He put his paper down on the table in front of them and looked at Ronnie. "How about you?"
"God, what happened to you?" Ronnie asked, noticing the dark circles under his eyes, his unkempt hair, and his scruffy face.
Harry yawned. "I didn't get any fucking sleep last night, my fucking hair won't cooperate with me, and I didn't shave because I didn't have any fucking time to."
Ronnie placed her coffee on the table. "Why couldn't you sleep? And why are you saying fuck so excessively?"
"I stayed up watching all the American Pie movies last night," Harry laughed. "Stifler kicked ass."
The bell rang. Ronnie shook her head. "Whatever." She touched his arm as she stood up and took her coffee. Harry got his paper and followed Ronnie out the door.
"Bye Harry," Ronnie said before she headed up the stairs to her class.
"Bye Ron," Harry replied. Harry opened the door into the basement and walked down the stairs into The Dungeon. As he opened the door, he saw Aaron and Brad bullying Evan, a real quiet kid who no one never really paid attention to. Aaron and Brad were pushing Evan around, yelling at him too.
"Hey, hey! Stop it!" Harry yelled as he pushed Aaron and Brad away from Evan. "What the hell is going on?"
"The little nerd here took our seats," Brad said.
"Is that all? Jesus. Okay, you know what? Just, go back to your seats, everyone. Except for you, Brad and Aaron." The class moved back to their seats. Evan sat in the back. "Brad, Aaron, go to Guber."
"What?" Aaron and Brad said in unison.
"I said go to Guber!" Harry shouted. Brad and Aaron cursed under their breath as they left the classroom; their hands shoved in their letterman jackets.
Harry ran his fingers through his hair and sighed. "Take out your homework and pass it up front." It was too damn early for this.
Ninety minutes went by and the bell rang. "Hey, don't forget to bring your books next class!" Harry yelled above the noise of his students leaving. Evan was about to leave the classroom, when Harry stopped him. "Hey, um, Evan, could you stay after for a few seconds? I just want to talk to you."
"Uh, s-sure," Evan said quietly.
"Are you okay? I mean, after this morning." Evan wouldn't make eye contact. He kept looking down on the floor.
"Y-yeah, Mr. Senate. I'm fine."
"You sure?" Evan nodded. "Yeah."
"All right. Thanks." Harry watched with a look of concern as Evan left the classroom.

Harry caught up to Scott in the hallway. "Scott!"
"Oh hi, Harry," Scott said as he walked down to his office.
"Hey, um, what did you do with Brad and Aaron?" Harry asked.
"Oh I gave them detention," Scott replied. "Now if you'll excuse me, Harry, I really must get to work."
"Yeah, thanks," Harry said and walked into the Teacher's Lounge. He went to the coffee machine and poured himself a cup. He sat down at the table next to Ronnie with his hot cup of black coffee, no sugar or cream added.
"Hey," Ronnie said as she finished marking the test in front of her. "What's up?"
"Brad and Aaron were bullying this kid, Evan." Harry sipped his coffee and rolled up his sleeves.
"Really? This Evan, glasses, baggy clothes, dark brown hair?" Harry nodded. "Yeah. Evan Baxter. Why, do you have him, too?"
"Yeah. In fact, I have him today." Harry sighed and took another sip of coffee.

The final bell sounded and the end of Tuesday was here. The halls were immediately filled with students rushing to get to their lockers, hurrying to get home. Within fifteen minutes, most kids were gone, and the halls were pretty much empty. Some people stayed after for sports and whatever activity they had, but other than that, everyone had gone home. At 4:25, Harry and Ronnie walked out of Winslow. Harry shoved his hands into his pockets as they walked to their cars.
"Wait." Harry stood in the snow, listening intently.
"What?" Ronnie asked. Harry turned around and headed for the side of the building. There was Aaron and Brad, punching Evan, kicking him, slamming him against the brick wall.
"Hey!" Harry yelled as he ran towards them. Brad and Aaron spotted Harry, and after punching Evan one last time, they ran off as fast as they could down the sidewalk, laughing. Harry decided not to go after them. He knelt beside Evan, who was sprawled on the snow with his face to the ground.
"Evan," Harry nudged slowly turned him so that he was facing him. Harry grimaced. "Jesus." A torrent of blood flowed down from his nose and from the large gash above his right eye. A black and purple bruise was evident under his left eye.
Ronnie rushed to Harry's side. "Oh my God." Harry gently shook Evan. "Evan, speak to me, please. Evan?" Evan moved his lips, but no words came out.
"Evan?" Harry turned to Ronnie. "C-call and ambulance."

"Is he all right?" Ronnie asked Harry as they walked into the Teacher's Lounge the next morning.
"Yeah. I spoke with his father. He should be back in school tomorrow." Just as they sat down at the table, Danny walked in.
"Hey, I heard about what's-his-face." He walked over to the coffee machine to warm himself up from the cold outside.
"It's Evan," Harry replied, with a hint of annoyance. How could Danny not know the name of the kid that got severely beaten up yesterday?
"Yeah, yeah, Evan. How is he?" Danny gently blew his coffee, hoping to cool it down a little.
"He's fine. He'll be back in school tomorrow."
"Yeah? That's good." Danny sipped his coffee. "Hey, do you know who did that to him? I heard he got beaten up pretty bad." Harry thought for a moment. "Yeah, but I don't think it'll help. They ran away when they saw me coming." The bell rang and the teachers left the lounge to go to their sixth period classes.
Harry stepped into his class and told them to quiet down. Brad and Aaron were there, sitting up front. He stood leaning against his desk. "Okay I said be quiet! Everyone place your papers on my desk and start reading chapter 11 please." Harry walked around his desk and sat in his chair. A few seconds later, he was staring at about half the class's assignments on a messy pile on his desk.
"Does anyone still have their homework?" Harry asked. Brad, who was talking to Aaron about Evan, stood and walked up to the front. He placed his and Aaron's paper on top of the others.
"Here you go, Mr. Senate." Harry just glared. Brad smiled and turned back around to his seat.
"Okay, read chapter 11. I expect to hear nothing but the pages of your books turning." Harry took the small pile of papers and began grading them. Every once in a while, he would glance up to see what Brad and Aaron were doing. They were just reading. He knew that they were the ones who did that to Evan. But he couldn't do anything about it. Even he couldn't see their faces through the snow and the shadows.
Brad and Aaron started snickering. "I said be quiet!" Harry yelled. Immediately, Brad and Aaron stopped and went back to reading.

It was nearly the end of break the next day, a 15-minute interval between 1st and 2nd period. Students either hung out in the hallway or the cafeteria, but mostly in the hallway. Harry and Danny were sitting at the table, talking.
"That Evan kid. He supposed to be here today?" Marla asked from her spot at the couch.
"Yeah," Harry replied.
"Are you going to ask him who did that to him?" Lauren asked from the table next to Harry's. Harry ran his fingers through his hair. "Of course I will." The bell rang, signaling the end of break. The teachers headed out the Lounge and into the crowded hallway. Kids were at their lockers getting their stuff for next class. As Ronnie walked out the door, the tests she was holding in her hand somehow slipped out of her hand and fell to the floor.
"Crap," she muttered as she bent down to pick up the papers. Harry knelt down beside her and began picking up papers. "Here," he said, giving her the papers.
"Thanks," Ronnie replied. As they were about to walk to their classes, they heard a gunshot. Then, closely followed by that, another one was fired.
"Oh, shit!" Harry yelled. He pulled Ronnie down to the floor. Everyone around was yelling, cowering on the floor. The whole hallway was in panic.
"Stay down!" Harry yelled, hoping some people would hear him. He turned back around to Ronnie. "I'll be right back." Ronnie nodded her head.
Harry, practically crawling, made his way down the hall to where the source of the gunshots came from. His best guess was the boy's bathroom. He sat, leaning against the wall next to the bathroom door. Not far down the hall from him, a girl was crying.
"Hey, hey, it's okay. It's okay," Harry said, hoping to assuage her fear. He was looking for more words to say. "J-just stay down, okay?" The girl nodded and sat up against her locker. Across the hallway from him, students were murmuring among themselves, some crying, some lying still, traumatized.
Two more gun shots. Screams erupted, people started yelling. This time, it was for sure that it came from the bathroom. Harry stayed low. He opened the door to find Evan, leaning against the wall, gunshot wound to his head. He was dead. The gun lay not far from him. Harry shook his head and walked in the bathroom. The door closed behind him, making him jump. He spotted a small stream of blood, coming out from underneath a closed stall. With all the courage he could muster, Harry slowly opened the door.
Aaron was slumped against the toilet with his eyes wide open. Two shots were fired right in the middle of his forehead and to his chest. Blood ran down his face, staining the gold letters of his letterman jacket. Disgusted, Harry ran out of the bathroom, gasping for air.
"Holy shit. Holy shit." He kept saying over and over. Finally, police officers burst through the main doors of Winslow, which was just down the hall from the bathroom.
"Everybody stay low!" One officer shouted. Noticing Harry wasn't obeying, he yelled again. "Sir! Get down!"
"He's in there, dammit!" Harry shouted, pointing to the bathroom. The police officers looked at each other and ran into the bathroom. Everyone was talking among themselves. More police officers came in.
"All right, everyone remain calm! We are going to evacuate the school! Please remain low and exit through the main doors!" Some officers walked down the hall, helping people up and telling them which way to go. Everybody rushed out of the school, students and teachers alike. One of the officers who was in the bathroom, came out. Harry saw him speak to another officer.
"Sir, we are ordered to evacuate everyone," an officer said, as he approached him.
"Yeah, sorry." Harry walked out the school. He shielded his eyes from the bright sun and the reflection of it that bounced off of the white, glistening snow. More police cars arrived along with two ambulances.
"Everybody move back, please!" An officer was saying through a megaphone. Harry spotted Ronnie and Marilyn standing next to each other, talking. He staggered through the snow towards them.
"Harry!" Ronnie called. "Harry, are you okay?"
Harry shook his head. He turned to the bush next to him, and vomited.

It was in the papers the next day: School shooting takes 3 lives. Harry scanned through the article, looking for names. Evan Baxter, 17, Aaron Williams, 17, Bradley Cooper, 17. Harry didn't remember seeing Brad in the bathroom. But, apparently, Brad was just in the next stall to Aaron. Harry shook his head and put the paper down. He flipped on the TV and surfed through the channels. He decided on The Simpsons, hoping to forget about the shooting for 30 minutes and just watch TV.

A week and a half later, Steven and Scott reopened school. As usual, in the morning before first period, the teachers hung out at the Teacher's Lounge. Steven walked in, yawning.
"Hey, what's up?" Danny asked.
"Interviews, questions, phone calls," Steven said in a gruff voice. "Hey, I'll be talking to the rest of the faculty, but since you guys are here, I'll tell you now. First period, spend ten, twenty, however many minutes you want, spend it talking about the shooting. Ask your students if they have questions and if they have trouble coping, send them to Bob Lick. All right?" Steven looked around the room for a response. The teachers all nodded.
"Good." He grabbed the cup of fresh, hot coffee that stood beside the coffee machine.
"Hey, that was mine!" Danny called out. Steven ignored him and left.

Harry walked into his classroom. It was dead quiet. He shivered not only from the cold, but from the uncomfortable silence. He set his briefcase down on his chair and walked to the front.
"All right," he began in quiet voice. "Well, we all know what happened two weeks ago. Evan Baxter came in to school with a gun, fired some, and killed Aaron Williams and Brad Cooper. All three are. dead." Harry looked around the room of blank expressions. He took a deep breath and continued. "Is there any questions from anyone?" No one stirred. "Anybody want to talk?" One kid who sat up front looked around.
"Matt. You want to say something?"
"Oh, n-no Mr. Senate." Harry crossed his arms. "All right, then. Questions? Anyone?" Still, no one made a sound. "Okay, well I have a question for you. Out of curiosity, has Evan ever been bullied before?" They looked at each other, exchanging glances.
"Come on, don't be afraid to speak up," Harry said in his best encouraging voice. "Please, say something."
Nancy looked around and then finally, after some hesitation, raised her hand. Harry smiled slightly in relief. "Nancy?"

"W-well yeah." It came as no surprise, but why hadn't Harry ever seen it before? "Really? On a regular basis?" Nancy nodded. "Yeah. Everyday at lunch Brad and Aaron do something to Evan."
"Like what?" Harry asked quietly. Nancy shrugged. "All this stuff." Harry nodded. "Thank you, Nancy. Is that all? All right, open your books to chapter 12."

Later that day, during the last period where everyone had class, at 2:49 pm, Winslow 1, Winslow's television channel, aired a special event in recognition of the shooting. Steven sat at behind the desk, ready to speak into the microphone.
"Everybody shut up and sit down!" Marla yelled to her class. "It's starting!" Her class obeyed and immediately sat down in their seats. Around the whole entire school, everyone was watching the TV.
"As we all know, two weeks ago, Evan Baxter came to school with a gun," Steven began. "He fired four shots, three killing Aaron Williams and Brad Cooper, and the last one, for himself. Winslow has now been recognized across the country, through newspapers, through radios, through morning talk shows, because we are the school with the school shooting.
"We have found out, that Evan was bullied. Bullying is a common motive for school shootings. We have also found out, that Evan was bullied throughout this school year, throughout last school year, and the year before that. You know what? How about I just say he's been bullied since 6th grade. Now that, my friends, is a very long time. Five years. It's hard to endure torment for five, long years.
"Now, this here, my friends is a harsh warning; a very harsh warning. It is a warning that alerts us to the real, hard danger of bullying, and its results. It's hard to say this, but I suppose that a lot of students here haven't really come to the realization of school shootings. The terror, the cause. But now, since Winslow has been added to the list, we now know the terror and the cause. We now have come to the realization of school shootings. We now know, from first person point of view.
"As I said before, this is a harsh warning. I know that there are more cases like this, just waiting to happen. If you happen to be one of the people who just happen to be on the bully side, well, you have seen the results of your actions. And if you happen to be the ones who are picked on, teased, and ridiculed, do not be afraid to speak up. Please, come forward and let us help you. Bob Lick's doors are open all day if you need someone." Steven took a deep breath and continued. "When I think of this situation, I think of a weak twig. You bend it and bend it and bend it until finally, it snaps. and brings a gun to a high school. I ask everyone to be aware of this situation. And also, I ask everyone to remember Aaron Williams, Brad Cooper, and Evan Baxter, and to keep them and their families your prayers. Thank you."
After the end of Steven's speech, the camera scanned to Aaron, Brad, and Evan's junior yearbook pictures. After that, a collection of home videos of Aaron, Brad, and Evan was shown in their memory.
Around the school, the halls were empty, the classrooms were silent. All was focused on the documentary, Aaron, Brad, and Evan, and the shooting.
Harry stood leaning against the back wall of his classroom, watching the TV up front. He couldn't help but notice Brad, Aaron, and Evan's seats. Brad and Aaron's were in the third row while Evan sat in the far back to the left. These three seats were now empty, but were filled with the haunting memory of each boy, and of the shooting that took place two weeks ago.
He uncrossed his arms and ran his fingers through his hair and sighed.