“You’re fine,” she said. “You’re safe.” But I wasn’t. I couldn’t even remember what safe felt like.
Consequences Mr. Skarey’s office was all pale walls and diplomas, as if he were afraid no one would believe him capable of his job without the papers hanging around to prove it. Tayla and I sat in the hard chairs. My back ached. My feet were too big in too small shoes. Silence hung like a hammer in the room. Faces bubbled out of the walls. Voices rode over everything. Gid came and stood behind me with his purple hands on my shoulders. I shrugged them away. “How are things?” Mr. Skarey asked, finally. “What’s going on?” Tayla asked. Mr. Skarey didn’t like looking out of control, so he turned a hard eye on her. “We have a problem,” he said. “A problem?” I asked. Mr. Skarey squinted and blew his breath through his nose. “It seems there are students here,” he said. “Students who’ve talked to their parents and their parents have talked to me.” “Jesus,” Tayla said. “Your pregnancy,” he said, “seems to offend certain people.” “Fucking Coy,” Tayla said. “Language,” Mr. Skarey said. “What’s the problem?” I asked. “It seems that some folks think it would be better if you transitioned to home school.” Now there it was. It hung in the air and weighed us all down. “Home school?” I asked. “Fuck this,” Tayla said. She started to stand but Mr. Skarey held up a hand. Tayla slumped back into her chair.