Walter Greggings was his name. He walked in a dandy, upright manner and loved waving to everyone on his path to school. To the elderly lady watering her neatly trimmed porch across the street, “Good morning ma’am! I hope your day consists of mesmerizing wonders and delightful endeavors!” To the rugged Jewish man violently slicing a thick chunk of fresh roast beef in the deli kitchen around the corner, “Salutations hefty citizen, may all your wildest inquiries be answered.” To the grumpy bus lady who would pick him up on Olive and 6th St. every weekday of the school year, “Hola senora! Es un dia muy muy bueno!” Unfortunately, the bus driver did not speak Spanish, and was unable to comprehend Walter’s kind greetings. On the ride to school, Walter always sat alone. While other 8th graders blabbered on about girls, acne, and other puberty-related concerns, Walter sat and wrote in his daily planner.
Every day, he would think of a new good deed, and eventually carry it out in the day. November 18, 2012: “Prevent and/or separate a brawl on campus.” Walter despised witnessing violence at school, and was extremely excited for his new task. The day went on, and no fights seemed to emerge. “Hmm.. Everyone seems to be in a friendly mood today. There’s usually an argument or two between the football players and the hockey team, but I guess not today,” thought Walter.
Disappointed, he walked through the gym doors to voluntarily clean up the trash under the bleachers, like he does every day at 3:08. Upon entering, there he saw it: two boys going at it, aggressively grabbing and throwing each other down to the ground. There was a huge crowd watching this rumble, but doing nothing but cheering and yelling. Walter sprinted to the center of the gym, jumped in between the two boys shouting, “Stop it right now! In the sacred name of peace, justice, and safety, get off of each other immediately! This school is supposed to be a sanctuary, a haven for scholars, eager to learn and grow through the divine gift of knowledge and reason. You pigs advocate malice, hatred, and immorality through your senseless violence. Do you not see the sinfulness in your actions?!”
The whole crowd went silent. A tall man wearing a black-and-white striped shirt came running towards Walter, simultaneously blowing a whistle in an aggressive manner.
“What in God’s name do you think you’re doin’, boy?”
“Me? I’m helping the school by breaking up this violent fight!”
“Helping the school?…This fight could’ve taken your school to the CIF Wrestling Championship for the first time in seventeen years… Your guy was winnin’ too.”
Walter looked up to see the school wrestling team with fury and disgust in their eyes. They slowly approached him with fists clenched and muscles flexed. Little did Walter know that he would actually be part of the only fight to take place at school that day.
I love Allison Kapuscinski <3