Until Harry(9)

By: L.A. Casey

I ran to my mother when she entered the waiting room, and I sobbed as she lifted me up into the air and held me to her chest. I felt a hand press against my back, then lips brushing against the side of my head.

“Lane?” my father’s voice murmured.

I looked to him, my vision blurred from my tears.

“Are you okay?” he asked, his voice filled with concern.

I shook my head. “Jordan punched my head, and it really hurts.”

My father’s jaw set as he looked over his shoulder. “Deal with your kid before I do.”

Arguing started again, and the teacher who had stopped the fight entered the waiting room and had to intervene to calm everyone down. Jordan’s mother was kneeling in front of him and pointing her finger at him as she told him off. His father stood next to them and glared down at Jordan, with his arms folded across his chest.

I swallowed when I spotted Kale’s parents. His daddy was next to him, checking his face; his mummy was worried as she fussed over him too, even though Kale tried to tell her he was fine. He didn’t look fine; his red and slightly swollen eyes were now blue as bruises formed on them. There was a dark bruise forming around the cut on his eyebrow and on his busted lip too. It had to hurt him, but he grinned and winked at me whenever he caught me staring.

I had to go into the principal’s office with my parents and tell him what happened. I did exactly that, and when I was finished, I had to sit in the waiting room with my parents as Kale, Jordan and Jordan’s two friends all went into the principal’s office with their parents. We waited for ages then, and sometimes there were raised voices, and sometimes there was crying. I knew neither came from Kale. He never cried. Ever. Not even when his grandmother died last year.

I was playing the game “I spy” with my daddy when Kale and his parents re-entered the waiting room. I jumped up and ran over to Kale at full speed, making him and our parents laugh. I wrapped my arms around his waist and pressed my head against his stomach as I squeezed him. He placed a hand on my shoulder and gently rubbed the back of my head with the other.

“You okay?” he asked me.

Now I am, I silently said to myself.

I looked up at him and nodded.

“I love you,” I said, making our mothers sigh and our fathers chuckle.

Kale snickered. “I love you too, Laney Baby.”

I pressed my face into his stomach as I smiled. He was the best friend ever.

“What did the principal say?” my father asked Kale’s as we all exited the waiting room and headed out of the school.

My mum whispered that we were allowed to go home, and I thought it was really cool, because I didn’t want to go back to my class anyway.

“He understood Kale was upset and felt the need to defend Lane, but violence wasn’t the way to go about it. Kale is suspended for two days, but Jordan and his friends got a week.”

I frowned. “What’s ‘spended’ mean?” I asked, my head tilting to the side.

Kale laughed and slung his arm over my shoulder. He leaned down and whispered, “It means I get to stay in bed all day while you have to go to school.”


I gasped. “No fair! I want to be spended too!”

Kale’s rich laughter filled the corridor we walked down, but he stopped when a door further down opened up and out stepped Drew with her stupid pretty red hair. Kale’s arm tensed around me, but he grinned when Drew’s gaze fell on him.

“Kale!” Drew squeaked when she spotted him, and she ran all the way down the corridor to reach him.

She really ran all the way.

I stepped to the side when she crashed into him and gave him a big hug. I glared hard at her and stepped back until my back pressed against my daddy’s legs. I looked up at him and noticed he was sharing a grin with Kale’s daddy and shaking his head. Our mummies were also smiling and shaking their heads as they observed Drew and Kale.

I don’t get it, I thought. Why are they happy?

“Hey, Drew,” Kale murmured into her hair as he inhaled.

I was disgusted. He sniffed her hair. I saw him sniff it!

Drew pulled back from the hug. “I’m so happy you’re okay, I was worried about you.”

“You were worried about me?” Kale asked, his voice disbelieving.

“Of course,” Drew said, nodding. “Are you suspended?”

Kale shrugged, seemingly not caring. “Two days.”

I frowned. He was acting like it was no big deal.

Drew’s mouth formed into the shape of an O. “For defending your sister? That’s so stupid.”

“Tell me about it,” Kale chuckled, scratching the back of his neck.

Drew blushed then when she noticed my parents and Kale’s were watching the exchange. “Well, I’ll be in every day. I can get notes for you and mark chapters you will miss,” she said, and flushed so much her entire head turned the colour of a tomato. “I can bring them to you after school every day so you don’t fall behind.”

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