A Short Story by Christina Burris
By: Christina Burris
High school is like a jungle. You have the lions and lionesses, aka the cheerleaders and the football players. Then you have the zebras and gazelles aka the nerds which are inevitably at the bottom of the food chain. Once you stray away from your herd into the den of the hunters, there’s no coming back. Imagine the high school cafeteria as the jungle. Each table represents a different pack or herd. The cheerleaders and football players (lions and lioness) sit on one side of the cafeteria and the nerds (gazelles and zebras) sit on the other side. Once in a while a brave and stupid zebra would journey to the other side for one reason or another. If he returns, he will never be the same again.
Today is one of those typical school days where everything is the same and no one wants to do anything to change it, except when I got to the cafeteria for lunch. At first there was nothing different then, when I finally found my seat, I saw it. This kid Josh was sitting with his nerdy friends when he decided to get up and switch tables. But he didn’t just move to a different table, he moved to THE table. He moved to the jock and cheerleader table. The boy was just asking for trouble. Nobody ventures to the jock and cheerleader table without making out a will first.
“Maybe he has a good reason for going over there,” my friend said.
“Yea, maybe he’s gone completely insane,” I said.
“We’ll never know unless we stop talking and listen to what they’re saying,” she said.
Unfortunately, there was no need listen to hard. All of a sudden the entire cafeteria went silent, until the screaming began. From what I can understand, Josh walked over to the head cheerleader to ask her out on a date. Something else I understood was that she had just started Sam, the big and strong captain of the football team. I just knew something bad was going to happen. Thankfully, the principal walked in before the inevitable fight broke out. But not before the threat of an after school meeting was announced.
“What has he gotten himself into?” I asked.
“A whole lot of trouble,” she said.
“Do you think he’s going to show up?” I asked.
“If he’s smart, he wouldn’t,” I said.
The rest of the day went on in a blur as the students murmured excitedly for the upcoming fight. Before you knew it school was over and everybody was rushing to get a good seat in front of the school. I didn’t expect to see him standing there, waiting.
“I cant believe he actually showed up,” I said, “ I didn’t think he was that stupid.”
“He’s either stupid or brave,” she said.
Before I knew it the first punch had been thrown and Josh went down. I figured he would at least try to get back up and defend himself, considering he chose to walk out and meet his fate, but there wasn’t even a twitch after he hit the ground. Everybody assumed the fight was over, so the crowd slowly dispersed to their cars and left. The next day during the morning announcements, the principal announced that he had found Josh still lying on the ground when he left to go home. He said he immediately called an ambulance and the police. When the ambulance came, they immediately pronounced Josh dead and contacted his parents. The coroner came to pick up his body and perform the autopsy. According to the coroner, they had found out that Josh had died from blunt force trauma to the head. Everyone knew who was to blame for his death, but no one was willing to confess to the police about what they had seen. So Sam went free for lack of evidence and eye witnesses. I always regretted not going to the police when I had the chance. I only hoped that what ever Sam did with his life, he would always feel the guilt of Josh’s death on his conscience.