“How could I convince the principal that I was innocent? Would he and the discipline master listen to my explanation? Would they believe that it was not me who initiated the fight?” I thought. Thousands of questions raced through my feverish mind. I guess they might have faced numerous similar scenarios before and I doubted that they would believe me. A combination of helplessness and fear caused my bones to rattle.
“If only I had not punched Shawn in the face in anger.” I regretted. I wished that I had controlled my own temper at that time. I started recalling the incident.
I had entered my friend’s class to return his chemistry textbook. He was not in class at that time. My worst fears were confirmed when I saw the three infamous guys – Shawn, Vincent and Ivan, sitting at the back of the classroom.
To avoid causing trouble, I turned around and was about to step out of the classroom when a deep menacing voice barked. “Pretty boy, are you afraid of us? You are such a coward.”
An evil grin flashed across Vincent’s face.
“What’s your problem?” I stuttered.
He grabbed me by my collar and snapped, “Of course it matters to use when a disgusting boy like you come into our class”
Seething with anger, I shoved his hand away. Ivan darted over and pounded my chest. I could feel anger coursing through my veins and my temples throbbing with pain. I punched him in the face uncontrollably. Out of nowhere, the discipline master appeared and we knew that we were in great trouble.
My mood turned dark and despondent. “Why must they insult and bully me when I didn’t provoke them? Am I that despicable?” I muttered. Shawn must have heard me as he stared defiantly at me and nodded his head. I felt totally weak and insecure at heart. Disconsolate tears welled up in my eyes. I felt numb and immune to everything.
“Go in now!” the discipline master yelled.
Upon entering in the principal’s office, there were several canes with different thickness placed on his table. Those tough boys began to lock and unlock their fingers nervously with anxiety etched on their faces. Surprisingly, the sight of the canes did not overwhelm me. The first to be caned was Shawn. He bent his body over the table as he was told to do so. The principal held the cane with two hands above his head. Releasing his left hand, he swung the cane towards his buttocks. Shaun’s scream rose skywards in a dreadful and ear-piercing manner. Vincent and Ivan were holding their hands so tightly that their knuckles were white. I remained at ease and let out a snort of laughter when I saw a teardrop streaking down Shawn’s face.
It was my turn and I finally regained from my numbness. As I bent over the table, I got a little jittery as though something with tentacles were shifting somewhere in the depths of my stomach.
The first stroke of the cane landed on my buttocks. The office was deafeningly silent. Those three boys stared at me in disbelief.