“Are you gonna gimme this pen or not?” Ronny was still laughing but his face was not smiling.
“I told you. I will ask my mother and bring it to you on Monday, if she says I can give it to you. You don’t need it until then anyway. Now let me go!” Sojourner could not believe her eyes. Ronny let her go, and in a fraction of a second, snapped the little metal pocket clip off the pen. He threw the pen at Sojourner as he spoke.
“Here, you little baby. Take the pen back to your mommy. I don’t want it now. It’s broken.” Ronny grabbed for the forearm closest to him, flipped it over, and began to shred the skin and soft tissue of her arm with the ragged edge of the broken pocket clip. Then before Sojourner could react, he did the same with her other forearm. Perhaps, the blood scared Ronny because he bolted from the cloakroom and out the classroom door, without another word.
The sink and paper towel dispenser was very near the opening to the cloakroom. Sojourner did not take time to wash the wounds; she would do that at home. Sojourner pulled down handfuls of paper towels, wrapping them around first the one forearm and then the other. Gingerly, Sojourner slipped each arm into the sleeve of her lightweight jacket. It was a tight fit with the bulky towels but, at least, they would keep the blood from staining the inside of her sleeves.
It was a long seven blocks to home that afternoon. Sojourner was so confused. Her arms really hurt but, even more, just the knowledge that Ronny could have done that to her and not even say he was sorry. How could it be? This was not funny and it was not a joke to her either. Now she had to get home and take care of her wounds before her mother saw them. She would not tell on Ronny. She wanted to find out why he would do that to her. She just had to talk to him before anyone saw her arms.
Sojourner closed the bathroom door and moved to the sink. She had collected the disinfectant and bandage materials she would need to clean and dress her forearms. Sojourner could not cover the many slices with band-aids; there were just too many of them and they were much longer than the Band-Aids. Fortunately, her family medicine cabinet had roller gauze so she would use that. Once both arms had been cleaned and the gauze secured with enough tape to ensure the bandages would remain in place, Sojourner opened the bathroom door. She cautiously peered out before rushing around that door and through the next. Once in her bedroom Sojourner looked for a long-sleeved shirt that she had not yet outgrown. The cuffs had to be long enough to hide the bandages.
“Hey, what happened to your arms?” Sojourner had one sleeve of the flannel shirt on but her younger sister caught sight of the white bandages encasing the other before Sojourner could get it into the sleeve.
“Oh, just playing.” It was a lie but her little sister bought it and asked her to come play Parcheesi with her. So far, so good. If only Sojourner could keep from cringing with the pain every time she moved her arms. She would play one round of the table game with her sister and then phone Ronny. Even if he had not gone straight home, this should be enough time for him to get there.
****Peer Relationships: Opposite Gender, Scene 3… Coming Tomorrow