Sharon’s note: One of my favorite parts of RPGs are dialog choices. My only complaint is that whatever you choose is not always what the character says. It’s dangerous to assume you know what the game’s writers means. I promise you guys that if I give you a dialog choice, what I put down is exactly what you say. Take that, Bioware. Warning: Just because it’s funny to say now, doesn’t mean you won’t regret it later. Of course, it doesn’t mean it’s won’t be worth it.
I grab the corner of Alex’s hoodie and drag them down next to me. They resist for a second before crouching down, staring at me with an eyebrow raised in disbelief.
“Hey, that’s like a teacher coming, right?” I hiss at them.
“The vice-principal, but yeah.” Alex reaches up and gropes around the table for a moment before bringing a napkin down to wipe their hands.
“If they ask, say I didn’t start it. Please?” I have to raise my voice a little to be heard over the vice-principal’s shouts.
“You want me to lie for you?” They laugh.
“It’s barely a lie,” I beg. “Clarissa’s been gunning for me all day, so she really started this. Please? It’s my first day. My parent’s will kill me if I get detention.”
“Literally or figuratively?” Alex asks.
“What? Figuratively, I guess.” That’s a weird question. I glance under the table and see gray slacks and shiny black shoes stalking towards the table. I open my mouth to plead some more, but Alex waves me off.
“Don’t worry, I got you.” They were laughing again.
Clarissa’s wailing stops, and I can hear the man clearly for the first time.
“Please shut up Miss Roberts. You aren’t injured.” The vice-principal huffs. “Now who started this stupidity?”
Alex stands up fearlessly. I rise with significantly less confidence. The vice-principal is a tall, well dressed man in his late forties. His bald head shines like he polished it and his expression says he is not amused. Clarissa points an accusing finger at me.
“Sh-she started it!” Her words are stuttered by hiccups and if her mascara was any more smeared she would look like a raccoon. “She d-dumped that sh-shit spag-hetti on me and s-she hit me ea-earlier!”
“Language, Miss Roberts.” The vice-principal doesn’t sound particularly excited by her argument.
“Well, that’s bull shit.” Alex crosses their arms. “Princess there started it, and from what I hear, she’s been after April all day.”
Voices chime in from all over the cafeteria. Some are supporting Clarissa, but more are crying my innocence. Max is staring at the ground trying not to be noticed and Wannabe is just playing gone. I don’t think most of these people yelling their version of events actually saw what happened, they just want to see Clarissa in trouble. I can get behind that.
The vice-principal’s eyes scan over the crowd. He takes a deep breath and focuses on me. “Follow me to my office.”
My nostrils flare and I put my hands on my hips. “What? Why? You just heard everyone say I didn’t do it.”
He just stares at me, unimpressed. “You’re covered in, what is that? Corn? I figured you would want to go home and change. You’ll need to call your parents.”
Everyone else is covered in far more food than me, but he isn’t calling them to the office. I open my mouth to snap back, but Alex whispers behind me, “Go. You’ll be fine.”
Alex did lie for me. It’s a better reason than most to trust them. I nod, and when the vice-principal turns on his heel and stalks away, I follow. As I walk by, Clarissa draws a finger across her throat, eyes full of rage.
The walk to the main office is quiet. The vice-principal tells the woman at the main desk to call my mother while leading me on to his office. The plaque on the wall says Mr. Franks.
He sits at his desk and motions for me to do the same before saying, “I think there are some things you need to understand about this school, Miss . . . Russo, is it? Things that aren’t exactly normal. Things that could get you hurt, or worse.”
I raise an eyebrow and say, “
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