A Wednesday in September
October 23, 2011
The Hike
November 13, 2011
A Wednesday in September
October 23, 2011
The Hike
November 13, 2011

Just Desserts

I don’t know when everything went so dreadfully wrong. What could have happened? I didn’t do it, exactly. No, I’m sure I didn’t do it. I’m innocent, at least, as innocent as any prisoner looking out through the bars is.

Deep down in the inner recesses of my soul I know I’m guilty, but it’s not my fault. I’m the victim here, an innocent bystander swept into error by the tide of human reasoning.

Everything is against me, keeping me from becoming what I want to be. I had to do what I had to do. They forced me to make a decision because I wanted to be popular. I wanted membership in the group that runs this place. Even on a bet, I could not make a stand that would mark me forever as a loser, a no body, a wimp. I want to be somebody and I wanted to have the power to tell others what to do, to call them wimps and losers.

I should have the right to make my own decisions, even make wrong decisions if I think they are right at the time. Sometimes the wrong decision is right depending on the situation, isn’t it? People will look up to me because nobody will push me around. No bullies are going to harass me because they know what will happen to them.

Of course, all this big talk has left me where I am today. What good has it done me? Now I am in big trouble and there is no way out. Maybe I should have taken a different approach. They say violence is never the answer. Who are they? They also say there is a time for war.

“It’s time,” the large man said as he leaned in the door and beckoned. “Come on.”

It has all come down to this. Now I must face the punishment. I don’t deserve this. I could make a run for it, but that’s stupid. Where could I go? They would just catch me, again.

“I didn’t do anything.” I guess I told him. That really sounded lame. The last words of a the condemned should be more profound than “I didn’t do anything.”

It’s a long way down to the end of the hall. At least it isn’t a green floor. This antiseptic black and white waxed linoleum tile floor is just as bad. Whom am I kidding? This long walk is the end no matter what color the floor is.

I could slip, fall, and crack my head open. Then they would have to take me to the hospital and I’d cling to life by a thread. That would teach them. Oh, what am I saying? What would that teach them—nothing? My legs are so wobbly I might actually fall anyway.

I really didn’t mean to do it. Something just took over my thinking. Maybe I’m insane. I could plead insanity. Then I’d end up in an insane asylum and spend the rest of my life there.

No, I should have just confessed and told the whole story as I saw it. The truth as I knew it. I will fall on the mercy of the judge. Maybe I should have shed a few tears to show how sorry I was.

Wait a minute. I am sorry for what I did, and I will never do it again. I will make my stand for right no matter what. Why should I care if others think me a loser? I know that I’m not. Winners make the right choices even if they are difficult choices. I’ll just have take my punishment .

Finally, we’re at the end of the hall. This is it. I must be brave.

The large man opened the door. “Principal Smith will see you now.”