I was on my way to work this morning taking a route I don't usually drive. I was listening to the radio. I was thinking about the day to come. Ahead near the entrance to the school I noticed students crossing the streets in ones and twos. They were rushing to the other side. I thought to myself, My the Rock is pretty popular this morning.
A shorter, rounder young man crossed the road. I stopped, a little put off that I had to do so, to let him pass. My eyes followed him to the other side of the road to safety. He hurried through the parking lot of an apartment complex across from the high school. I moved my car forward toward just another day. I saw that at the base of the lot there are many kids, I knew what was going on. Where was it? I ssaw two boys entangled, throwing punches where they could.
I gassed it and made a hard right, beeping my toy car horn the whole way. A firm tug on the e-brake sent my car to a pip squealing hault. My car still running, I threw open the door and leapt from the vehicle. The boys were closer now. They seemed bigger too. It was clear that neither one of them are athletes. I started running toward them. I felt my room key and school ID bouncing against me as i ran. In a dramatic fashion I pulled the lanyard off my neck, thinking that if I had to really get in here with these two, I didn't want to be choked out. Oh, please do not let me have to get in there.
"Boys! Boys! Stop this now" As soon as I reached them, they stopped. They congratulated each other on a good fight. I grasped them by their meaty arms and began to guide them toward the school. They promised me they wouldn't run, but asked if they could pick up their books and things. I obliged. I the blonder boy gave the heavier boy a tap on the chest, and with his shout of "GO!" he was off.
In a moment I pondered whether to stay with the heavier boy, who never moved, never budged or chase after the rabbit. I must say, I love a challenge. I was off. The blonder boy rounded the corner and looked over his shoulder. I was right behind him. I don't think he knew I followed him til right then. He tried to pick up some speed, tried to increase the distance between us. I just kept running.
Up through the parking lot, across the street, past the entrance to the high school. He didn't stop, neither did I. I began to call after him, "C'mon kid. Just stop." Eventually, he did.
"That's it. You got me. Great run."
"You need to eat less potato chips and get to the gym more."
"Yeah, I know. Please don't turn me into the office. If you do I am going to have to go to Bradshaw."
On the way to the office, I saw D arriving at work at not her usual spot. "Ms. Hampton," I called, proud of my catch, "my car is across the street and is running. Could you take care of that for me. I have to take this young man to the office."
Sweetly smiling, my friend said, "Of course."
I dropped off the dirty laundry in the office without much fanfare, but that is ok. A hero's job is thankless.