Belonging to Lust

Chapter 100: The Verdict

That Wednesday, Zaiyia returned back to school from a single day off for getting into a altercation on the bus with three other girls. She was discarded off by the McCoy sister who now have taken it upon themselves to drive her to and from school considering that she was most likely going to be suspended from using the bus ever again for trying to smack the hell out of three other students. She was convinced whatever reason she told any of the adults wouldn't matter, they have it on the bus camera what she had done and would discipline her brutally for it. She could almost hear it now.

No amount of racist remarks should ever result in physical retaliation!

It wouldn't be the first time she was told something comparable to that and it sure wouldn't be the last. Not every school she's ever been to were filled with such racist bastards, but then again she'd hopped from one school to another so many times it was hard to tell whether it would have eventually happened if she'd only remained long enough. Either way, no teacher EVER felt that defending oneself by slapping the person running their mouths with blasphemies was the way to go about it. Teachers always tell you to go to them or some other adult but...what can they really do? Can they really stop racism being sown into the minds of innocent youths in EVERY single household? Zaiyia had literally stepped into the front entrance of the school to accompany the rest of the student body when over the intercom she heard her voice being summoned. Pausing dead in her tracks in the middle of the hall, she glared up at the nearest speaker mounted up on the wall near the ceiling. “Ms. Zaiyia Halifx, please report to the Principal's office straight away. I repeat, Ms. Zaiyia Halifax, please report to the Principal's office straight away.”

“Ooooo.” Several voices chanted from behind her.

Rolling her eyes at the ignorance of some of these kids, she peeked over her shoulder to shoot them a scowl but they instantaneously went dead quiet before she could identity who was a part of the choir. With a sigh, she readjusted her backpack and headed 'straight away' to the principal's office as demanded. She knew full well what she was going to walk into and wouldn't be the least bit dazed by the way it'll most likely turn out. When she infiltrated the office and went straight to the principal's door, she was taken by surprise when Mr. Quinn himself tugged the door open to receive her before she could lift a hand to knock. “Ah, there you are, Ms. Halifax! I've been waiting for your arrival for...” He verified the watch ticking on his wrist. “For the last 10 minutes.”

“Oh...well, I had to get a ride with some friend for obvious reasons.” Zaiyia related in a mellow tone, already preferring to be done with this sudden meeting.

“Right, of course.” Mr. Quinn nodded before opening his door further to welcome her in with a sweep of his hand. “Please, come in and have a seat. We have quite a lot to talk about.”

“We sure do, Mr. Quinn.” Zaiyia concurred before taking a seat in the solitary chair placed right in front of his desk. She sank her backpack onto the floor right in front of her shoes and observed as the Principal rounded the corner to his desk to take a seat too. “So, let's get to it. What do you wanna know?”

Mr. Quinn raised a brow at her dispassionate behavior in such a time of crisis but he moved the meeting along anyway. Linking his hands together, he deposited them atop his desk as he examined her. “It has come to my attentions yesterday that you got into an altercation with some students on your way home from school.”

Zaiyia didn't try to oppose it and so gave him a firm nod. “That's correct, Mr. Quinn.”

“I spoke with Ms. Wilson and she told me she what you and other party claimed had happened since she never saw it take place until after you were trying to harm one of them.” Mr. Quinn explained. “But the bus has a camera that recorded the whole thing.”

“Oh, I bet it did.” Zaiyia acknowledged again, her eyes lowering to his golden nameplate standing haughtily near the edge of his desk.

“I stayed late to watch the video in my office yesterday and again this morning.” Mr. Quinn went on before finishing it on that cliffhanger.

Zaiyia lifted her eyes to his when she heard him cease. This was the part when he was suppose to tell her he saw what she did and then proceed to berate her for her behavior and yet he adjourned? Was he trying to be all suspenseful? If so, she wasn't here to play games. “And? What's the verdict?”

“Well, that depends, Ms. Halifax.” Mr. Quinn left off again.

Rolling her eyes, Zaiyia sat up straight in her chair to scowl at him. What was this guy getting at? “On what?”

“On your side of the story.” Mr. Quinn divulged, watching her eyes widen in bewilderment.

“Wait...what?” Zaiyia sat forward in her seat, unclear if she had misheard him.

“Did I not make myself clear?” Mr. Quinn challenged her as he leaned back in his chair. “I want to hear what you have to say in your own words of what transpired yesterday afternoon.”

“Yeah but...what about the bus driver and what she said?” Zaiyia mentioned before indicating to his computer screen. “And what about that video?”

Mr. Quinn gave her short offhand shrug. “What about them?”

“Isn't that enough evidence to convince you I'm guilty as charged?” Zaiya pointed out.

“Ms. Wilson reiterated to me that she didn't hear or see what happened prior to the attack which means she doesn't know how it got initiated.” Mr. Quinn reminded her. “And the video was able to record what happened, but not what was being said. Words were spoken before you tried to attack those girls, am I right? Harsh words.”

Narrowing her eyes skeptically at him, Zaiyia leaned back into her chair again. “Yeah, so what?”

“I want to know what was said.” Mr Quinn answered. “I can see what happened and can discipline you seriously for what I saw like it's expected of me to do as Principal...but this morning I accepted a call from your guardian, Mr. Sullivan, and he told me not everything is what it seems.” He regarded her stiffening in her seat before slowly leaning forward again to observe to his every word. “I had already made up my mind to see you suspended for this by yesterday evening but I kept considering what he said last night. Mr. Sullivan was actually the reason I came in early today to rewatch the tapes. I think he wanted me to give you an opportunity to say your piece before I came to a decision on how to utilize this situation.”

Zaiyia was speechless. Heath called him for her? Her heart was galloping in her chest since the moment Mr. Quinn said Sullivan and she couldn't seem to bring herself to respond back.

“So, are you willing to say your piece today, Zaiyia, or was his consultation for naught?” Mr. Quinn concluded, raising a brow at her in analysis.

Lowering her eyes, Zaiya stared down at her hands settling limply on her lap. This was certainly a peculiar turn of events. It wasn't often she could tell her side of the story in a position like this but then again things could still turn against her favor. Opening and closing her mouth, she ultimately pushed herself to tell him the story. “I was just trying to get home, just like everybody. I just wanted to go back to my room and my bed. I wasn't out to provoke trouble.”

Mr. Quinn nodded as a clue that he was listening intently. “I'm sure most people never wish to cause trouble. Unfortunately sometimes, we don't always react in the way we wanted to at the time.”

“I'll say.” Zaiyia endorsed. “There were these three girls trying to get under my skin. Miley Finley, Louise Leon, and Eilesse Baldwin. They kept trying to get my attention and would make adverse statements to everything else that made me stand out as a black woman.”

“Hold on, are you saying...?!” Mr. Quinn was now the one sitting forward in astonishment, his mouth opening and closing as he grappled to say the words.

“That they were being a bunch of racist cunts?” Zaiyia accomplished for him. “Yeah, that's exactly what I'm saying.”