Sensitive Psycho No More, Eli Bivins

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Here is the opening scene of Eli’s story about a teenager with anger management issues:

As I sat outside the principal’s office I evaluated my body: My shirt was torn at the collar, and I had lost one shoe. Blood flowed down my arm and off my fist like water from a faucet. I didn’t know if the blood that was on my fist was from me or who I got into it with. I didn’t really care.

The door next to me opened and Principal Willis stepped out. Principal Willis was a tall black man. Six four, with a full on beard. He was built — the attraction of the girls at school. He always wore the same type of attire to school: a white top with black bottoms and black or white shoes. But this attire changed daily. One day he’d be wearing a white button up, with black slacks and black dress shoes. The next, a white tee, black jeans and white vans.

He turned and looked at my face and sighed, “Not again Jonathan.” He then looked at my body and saw the blood on my arm. “Come on, let’s get you cleaned up.” This was a regular routine now. I wasn’t proud of it.

We walked through the halls, our footsteps echoing off the walls and the ceiling. Different color lockers lined the walls. I forgot why. I rarely noticed because I never used them. I figure it’s just decoration, ya know? Color the lockers different colors and it makes the school look less shitty than it already is.

We took a few more steps and then I guess Principal Willis had enough awkward silence because he cleared his throat in an exaggerated manner. “So. Care to explain?” Principal Willis asked. “I know you. I’ve known you for years. I know there’s always a reason why you tend to…get into situations like this. But even with that this is unacceptable behavior. If you want we can take the long way to the bathroom and you can just talk and let everything out. You can even cuss if you need to just keep it quiet….but I need to know. Why?” he stared at my arm and I knew he had nothing else to say until I explained myself

“Donny wouldn’t stop talking about me,” I said. “He called me some bitch and told me I wasn’t shit. He told me I was lame because we didn’t have a lot of money.” I froze to let all that sink into Principal Willis’s head. “I didn’t care. But then when he realized that he went on to calling my mom a bitch and my dad a deadbeat…” I froze and clenched my fist as we turned around the corner and walked up the stairs. “I hit my limit when Ms. Johnson stepped out and he called me sensitive psycho and knocked me out of my desk….the adrenaline hit my head and I blacked out. When I came to Ms. Johnson was pulling me off of Donny and somebody else was calling an ambulance. She sent me to you without letting me grab my things, hence why I only have one shoe.” I wiggled my foot so he could see, even though I knew he saw it when he came out of his office.

He nodded his head, acknowledging everything I told him. We reached the top of the stairs and made a left. We were on an empty floor, I knew why we were going this way. If I lost myself and started cussing there was no one around to hear. He was trying to keep me from getting in more trouble than I was already in. Like I said, this was a routine I wasn’t proud of.


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