After Ms. Cramer and Mrs. Chaffee took Rob to the nurse, I figured someone would send me back to class. I wasn’t the one who’d been hurt, I hadn’t hurt anyone else, and I’d told Ms. Cramer everything, so there was no reason for me to stick around as far as I could see. Leaving without Ms. Cramer telling me to probably wouldn’t have been a good idea, but surely she wouldn’t need me to stay.
When she came back, though, she said, “I’m going to have to call your father, Mira. Please have a seat out in the waiting area.”
My chest tightened. She didn’t have any reason to call Dad. I wasn’t the one in trouble. Hearing from the school would only tick him off, especially since his boss would give him a hard time for taking a personal call. “He’s at work. You can’t pull him out of work.”
“I don’t have much choice.” She sat down and clicked something on her computer. “This was a serious incident, and the police are involved. Even though you were only indirectly part of it, I still have to notify him. We may need to make a plan in case someone tries to retaliate against you for Craig’s and Seth’s arrests.”
“You’re kidding me.” She’d acted as if Rob was overreacting when he said he was afraid of someone trying to get revenge, but now she was dragging my father into this because of the same thing. How did that make any damn sense at all?
“Wait outside, please.” She motioned me away and turned back to the computer.
I didn’t have much choice other than listening to her, so I went out to the waiting area. Fortunately, Craig and Seth were nowhere in sight, and neither were the other two guys. Talia was still there, though. I sat a couple chairs away from her.
“Is Rob okay?” she asked.
A few really bitchy responses came to mind, but she actually sounded concerned, so I decided to go along with it. “I don’t know. He kind of lost it in Cramer’s office.”
“I heard. I think everyone heard.” She sighed. “Maybe this time, people will figure out they can’t just keep telling him to get over it.”
“Maybe.” She knew as well as I did that would never happen. Even though Craig and Seth had committed a crime, people would still say Rob had brought it on himself with the way he acted or by not fighting back. Somehow or other, they would still blame him for getting bullied instead of doing something about the bullying.
“Rance might get suspended for touching Seth.” She sounded disgusted. “He didn’t even do much. He only wanted to make Seth let go of Rob.”
“That’s what I told Ms. Cramer.” I glanced at her. “Am I the one who got him in trouble?”
She shook her head. “Seth said it too. And Rance admitted it. He doesn’t lie. He’d rather get punished for being honest about what he did than lie to cover it up. But this is the third time he’s gotten in trouble for putting hands on someone since school started. He only does things to stick up for people, but the school can’t just let it go, I guess.”
“Yeah. Physical contact is physical contact.” I rolled my eyes. In the real world, if you defended yourself or someone else, a lot of times you didn’t get in trouble. Despite adults claiming school prepared us for the real world, schools didn’t do a whole lot of “real.”
“Are you okay?” she asked.
I shrugged. “No one touched me or anything. I’m pissed off. How come you guys stuck up for Rob, anyway?”
“Because Craig and Seth were way out of line. Everyone who’s a dick to him is out of line, and it really needs to stop.” She paused. “You think I’m his enemy because I talked to Mrs. Reynolds, but I’m not the bad guy here. I was trying to help. This kind of thing is why. It keeps happening, and no one’s doing anything about it. That’s the only reason I talked to her.”
“You still shouldn’t have gone behind our backs.” I clasped my hands together and slowly exhaled. Sooner or later, the anger and adrenaline would calm down. Until then, I had to keep control of myself. “Thanks. For today, I mean.”
“Yeah. We couldn’t just ignore what was happening like everyone else.” She gave me a tentative smile. “You’re welcome. I’m glad you’re all right. I hope Rob is.”
I managed to smile back. “Me too.”