It Never Stops
Characters - Shania & Gardner Wilson
Genre - Drama
Rating - K+
Summary - Shania, a Nought, was expelled from a Cross school. Why? Because it never stops.
This, my friends and lovely readers, was a homework for my English class. I was pretty pleased with the outcome, so I decided to upload it...just for the hell of it. The task was to 'Write a short story based on the issues raised in the book'...however, we only read the playscript verion in class XP I have read the book, but that was many many years ago, when I like, 9 or something, so I a) didn't really understand it b) cried at the end and c) can't remember if this bit is included in the book. So yeah. Basically, it's my take on why Shania (one of the Noughts who attends Sephy's school) was expelled. I hope you like it, and please review! I have anonymous review enabled, but if you have an account, PLEASE sign it because I always try to respond to each review individually.
"Blanker!" Gardner Wilson called after my retreating back, jeering at me, at the colour of my skin. I sighed, crossing my arms over my chest defensively. It hadn't stopped. It hadn't even slowed down. I suppose I'd thought that people would get used to it – a Nought went to a Cross school. They hadn't. They teased, bullied, avoided me. It never stops.
"Oi, Blanker! I'm talking to you!" I turned around, facing the eyes that were filled with hate.
"What?" I asked, resigned.
"Talk with respect to your superiors, Blanker!" He snapped, pushing my shoulder with his fingertips. I flinched away from his touch, and his friends laughed. Gardner smirked, pleased with the reactions he was getting – my horrified reaction, and their gleeful ones.
"Leave me alone, please." I said quietly, not wanting to stir his infamous, act-now-think-later temper.
"You want me to leave you alone? Why should I leave you alone, Shania?" He called me by my name, mocking me. "Give me a reason to, Shania. Make me stop, Blanker!" He continued pushing me, shoving me, goading me into reacting. I took a deep breath, trying to calm myself so I didn't do anything I would later regret. "Stop wasting so much air, Blanker, it shouldn't be wasted on you. You and your kind don't deserve it." A crowd was gathering, watching the scene unfold in front of them.
"I've not done anything wrong." I protested, albeit weakly. I was now backed against the wall, with no visible means of escape, and no way to avoid the onslaught I knew was coming. Gardner and his cronies surrounded me; claustrophobia over-whelmed me.
"Nothing wrong? You and your little Nought friends swan in here like you own the place, like you have a right to be here, like you're equal to us. Let me tell you this. You don't own the place, we do. You don't have any right to be here, we do. And you will never be equal to us. Not now, not ever. You'd do well to understand that…to remember that." Gardner was right in my face, spit flying everywhere. I cringed away from him. "That's right, Blanker. You had better be scared. You should run back to that rock you crawled out from under, and rot there. Even that would be too good for you. You're scum, Blanker. You're nothing." He whispered the last words, his hand squeezing my face. I wrenched myself away from him.
"I really don't see why we're so different. We're both human beings – we both wake up, have breakfast, get dressed and go to school, go to the toilet, get ill, breathe the same air! The only thing that sets us apart is the colour of our skin. You're black, and I'm white. That's the only difference. Why should that make you superior to me? Why should I have to look up to you?" I vented my anger in the form of furious words, spitting them out like venom.
"What are you saying, Blanker? That you should be above me?" Gardner stepped back slightly, his hand over his heart in sarcastic shock.
"No, I'm not saying that, Dagger. I'm saying that there is no reason why we shouldn't be equal." I said calmly. His face rapidly changed colour; red, blue, purple…then livid. I didn't know black people could look so...pale. I looked at him, slightly concerned that he was going to vomit over me.
I needn't have been worried about that.
His fist connected with my gut, harsh and unforgiving. I immediately doubled over, coughing and retching, trying to draw breath. I could hear laughter, and people applauding Gardner on his well aimed punch. There was a strange buzzing in my head, and a haze over my eyes, which I only later realised was unrelated to my injuries.
It was anger.
I stood up straight, ignoring the sharp protests from my bruised stomach. I looked Gardner right in the eye, letting the hate seep into him like a poison. I walked up to him and swung my hand back. I brought it forward, and smiled as it made contact with his face, resulting in a loud cracking noise, and a large red mark on his dark cheek. He cupped it in shock, his face a mixture of different emotions; anger, hate, pain…admiration. I held his gaze for a few more seconds, before turning and pushing my way through the crowds. There was no laughing. Or clapping. Or shouting. It was strangely silent.
One hour later…
I sat in Mr Corsa's office, not afraid of what was coming. I'd say my piece, and take my expulsion with an accepting smile, and a sickly sweet acknowledgment. I just wanted to know what the grounds of the expulsion would be – honesty? Courage? What excuse would they find?
"Shania, would you please tell me what happened earlier in the corridor?" Mr Corsa looked at me over the top of thickly rimmed glasses, his mind already set.
"I was walking to my next class, minding my own business, and Gardner Wilson started on me, jeering and calling after me. Him and his friends barricaded me against a wall, and completely…tore a strip out of me. I questioned him about what he'd said, and he punched me hard in the gut. I don't deny that I slapped him, but it wasn't unprovoked." I looked over his shoulder out the window, where I could see Cross boys running round with a football.
"Had you been doing anything in the first place to aggravate Gardner?" He questioned.
"Unless you count being white, no." I said honestly. I was through with protocol and being polite. It was time to tell the truth.
"When you are talking to me, please do so with respect." The headmaster snapped. I smiled and nodded slightly. "So you hadn't called out to him, and called him a Dagger?"
"Not before he started on me, Sir. It may have slipped out of my lips later, after he'd generously insulted me. I don't remember all the details. It happened very fast. All I know is that he was discriminating against me, and I reacted to his violence." I stated clearly. Mr Corsa looked down at the sheet of paper he was holding, scanning it quickly.
"I have Gardner's statement here, along with statements from several others at the scene. They are all unanimous in the fact that you called after Gardner first, you exchanged angry words, and he tripped against you. In return you slapped him round the face." Mr Corsa surveyed me again.
"Well then, I guess it's my word against theirs. Although I doubt Gardner has a mark on him made by me, and I have a large bruise on my stomach from where he…tripped…against me. Unless his clenched fist flew into my gut…" I left the sentence unfinished, but it was clear what I was implying.
"Are you suggesting that…six…of my best students lied to me in statement?" He asked.
"Yes Sir, I am."
"I highly doubt that they are, and their story seems a lot more believable than your tale. From where I stand, you passed a comment about the colour of Gardner's skin, and he put you in your place, to which you reacted unduly and violently." Mr Corsa set down the sheets of paper.
"My place, Sir? And where would that be?" I wondered aloud, accusing him of the racism I knew he intended.
"That, I am not sure, Shania. I can assure you that it is no longer at this school, of that I am certain. Unless you learn to keep your head down and your mouth shut, I should imagine that it will be behind bars within a year. I am expelling you for gross misconduct, and for uncalled-for violence against another student. This is in effect immediately, and if you have not vacated the premises in ten minutes, I will call the police to have them remove you." I smiled tightly at him, before standing up and walking out the door. I heard him on the phone as I left, asking for an upholster to come in and clean the chair I'd just been sitting on as a matter of urgency.
I realised as I pulled my bag out of my locker that it would never change. There would always be the discrimination against white people, and white people would resent those with darker skin with equal passion. We would always be suppressed, and looked down upon, and the Daggers would walk around as if they were completely innocent, and had done nothing wrong. I thought of Callum, the only Nought left at the school. Good luck to him. God knows he's going to need it. I wondered how long he would last. A term? A month? A week? If there was one thing I was sure of, it was that he'd never graduate, because he would have been forced out long before then, because the discrimination, racism, segregation – it never stops.