And while her journal was the first on my desk, Anya did not leave the classroom. Instead she kept playing with her backpack’s zippers, as if waiting to see if the other nine students would follow or successfully revolt.
Perhaps she wanted to reclaim hers, if she had the chance.
Seconds passed and no one moved. Finally, Blake looked at each adult and then stood. He tugged on his pressed button-up shirt and then walked the distance to my desk.
All of us watched him. With somber obedience, he set it down and quietly said, “Here you go, Mrs. Childs.” Then he turned back to the class, unsure of what to do next.
But his effort spurred Priscilla to break the silence. She jumped up and said, “Darby and I have dance practice. We have to go.” In haste, she moved to my desk and dropped the journal down with a thud. Then she turned back to stare at Darby, who remained frozen in her seat. “Come on Darby, we gotta go!”
Darby looked down at her journal, acting oblivious to Priscilla and the entire class that watched her. It seemed each remaining class member was still waiting, hoping another would raise the cry that would stop this injustice.
Instead Priscilla grew more impatient. “Come on, Darby!”
Slowly, Darby slid out from her chair and stood. She tugged at her tight skirt, rolled her shoulders back, and lifted her head high. Then she strode up to my desk, dropped her journal on the stack, and spoke with a chilling coldness. “There you go, Mrs. Childs, there’s our secrets.”
It was Darby who broke out of the classroom first; it was she who strode past all the rest and pushed open the door to let the sounds of carefree students roaming the hall enter the room.
Once Darby exited, Priscilla, Blake and Anya followed.
And once the door shut behind them, the statement had been made.
The other six had no choice.
It was Todi who rose next, followed by Hamilton, then Kyle.
Abigail kept shooting Dillon glances. But once he stood, Abigail reached for her pack and accompanied him down the aisle. Finally, it was Tracey who remained.
When he dropped his journal on my desk, he looked me square in the eyes and said, “Not cool, Mrs. Childs. Not cool.”
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