Joshua got up from the top of the can where he had perched, and he walked to the outline and erased it. Looking in the direction of our group in front of him, he straightened his back and kicked the bottom of the can. The reverberations echoed off the rounded high ceiling, as if a high note sounded from a choir member. Angie looked up from her group’s rows and rows of cards, and smirked. ‘ So like him.’ she thought
“Whoever you are, you are causing disorganization of a project all of us have been working on, for months. I am guessing that you are in the research group with Michael and Sam, so I will just ask them to take you out! Since we have a lot of ideas to put together and we don’t have this space for all the time.” He nodded at the jazzy headband guys to move towards the door.
Sam and Michael caught me by the elbows and — nodding at the Headband guys, Michael walked me sideways and straight to the back entrance. I twisted my elbows and looked behind me at the girls . Sherriel held up my backpack and nodded, before laying out the pictures and the formatted pages we had worked up last week. I sighed, all the evenings we had verified and cross checked. That part had been so boring, but as Sam said we would be ripped and thrown away, if we had wrong facts. Michael’s hold on my elbow pinched and his expression was stone faced with no emotion at all. Sam had an arm across my waist. He kept his eyes on the big safety door until we reached it and Michael stopped. Sam pointed back to our table.
” Tell the others, we will meet them in the 2nd floor study wing.” He smiled at Michael . ” Thank you for staying with us. It is stellar.” Michael eyes opened up and I saw their soft buttery brown, ” D’Accord!” .
We sat in the over-plumped, sink- into-and-never- get-out couches. Overlooking the entry into the library and the south hallways, we would be easily seen by the others. ” Oh my Lord, I may just hide here for good.” i sank even farther out of sight,
Sam frowned, and his eyebrows drew together knitted in that funny rosette. Sam, the punster, my buddy, the trivia fountain and guide to all things campus, was not now.
“Do you decide what words you are using or is there a ball that just jangles?” he was NOT amused like he usually was. He was fiercely angry and I was stunned.
I just crumbled, drawing my knee up ( losing a shoe), I dropped my head to my knee, and sobbed.
All the condemnation, the anger and the spite caused my brain to just shut down. ‘I just wanted to be back on my couch, buried in the corner, cocooned in my blanket. I would just leave’. I thought.
” Look at me!!- you are not a little kid and you can’t hide from the wrath caused by your actions.” He sounded so closed and yet so loud! ” Look at me- I want to hear! What means did you think you were going to get?”
I cracked open an eye, his navy blue shirt was so close, I could see the tiny orange details were fruit.
I blinked and raised my head, wiping my eyes on the crumpled handkerchief,crammed in my pocket,
I drew in a deep breath. ” I WASN’T TRYING to do anything? ” My face must have shown all the hurt I felt.
He pressed a blue knobbed bottle into my hand. I took a sip glad to have the cold tickle on the back of my throat. Sam took a sip of his. ” Words matter, they decide who goes where and how actions are started. Words can build and create smiles or describe the beauty of the skies. They can start to lay the ground for the strongest grid ever to be found. ” He scratched the back of his head. “Especially here, -where the rebuild is just starting to congeal.”
He looked hurt and bewildered. He also looked stunned, he kept looking and me and then away, hurt washing over in waves. He swallowed a large amount of the blue drink and barely shook his head.
My eyes teared up again. I felt like I was being slapped by my good friend and I don’t know what I did. ” I didn’t mean to cause trouble . I just thought that we were discussing the project,I would start an outline and we could add to it when everyone else gave their ideas.” Sam twirled his bottle.,looking at the ceiling. “Sherriel has done something like that on the 1854 project.”
Sam reached for my hand and narrowed his eyes. Those were the eyes of thunder and a boiling sea under darkened clouds so there was no warmth! He squeezed my hands and his face was the saddest I had ever seen it. “and THAT is the scariest part of all this- you can’t imagine you did anything wrong! ,like it was your birthright ? ”