Belonging to Lust

Chapter 101: I Believe You

“Language, Ms. Halifax, please.” Principal Quinn warned her as he began to reverse the video tape that had recorded the fight that went down on the bus between Zaiyia and some other students. “So, these ladies were bullying you that's why you felt the need to lash out on them the way you did?”

“Hell yeah!” Zaiyia certified proudly, not the least bit contrite of her vicious actions the other day. When those girls chose to verbally bully her, they sealed their fates. It wasn't like they didn't know what would happen to them if they kept running their mouths on her. The whole student body should already know by now what she'd do to anyone that had the balls to step up to her and talk foolishness to her face.

Mr. Quinn firmly shook his head in dissatisfaction as they got closer to the introduction of the video. “You shouldn't have reacted that way, Ms. Halifax. No matter what the cases may have been, you should never reciprocate in physical assault.”

Zaiyia rolled her eyes at having those monotonous words being thrown back at her again. She knew he was gonna spout some idiocy like that. Hell, they all do. Running a hand through her braids, she lets out a sigh. “Whatever.”

“You won't be saying that after we're done here today.” Mr. Quinn prepared her lightly before turning his computer monitor towards her so she'd see the screen clearly. Leaning over his desk so he could turn his head and see it too, he addressed her again. “Now, what I want you to do as you're watching this video is tell me in your own words what happened.”

“Roll the film then.” Zaiyia conceded, sitting forward in her seat to scan the silent black and white video. Soon after it started she indicated to the screen at the blonde with the pigtails. “See that hot mess right there? That's Eliesse Baldwin, and her ridiculous looking self decided it would be cute to address me by my 'nappy braids' instead of my actual name.”

“Perhaps she didn't know your name.” Mr. Quinn shrugged in defense.

If she was only a few years older, Zaiyia would merrily go skipping off to jail if she could just reach over and smack her principal across the mouth right now for what he just said. “So calling me 'nappy braids' is tolerable in your book when someone doesn't know my name? That kind of shit just flies in this already fucked up school?”

“Language, Ms. Halifax.” Mr. Quinn prompted her sternly, now seeing how he was in the wrong. “You're absolutely right on this one, please forgive me.”

Rejecting his amend cause she wasn't going to acknowledge it, Zaiyia indicated again to the screen but to a different student this time. “And this butt tooth beaver over here is Miley Finley. She decided to join in the fun, I guess, because she wanted to be able to say 5 minutes of her miserable life was once relevant.” Her finger than shifted to the last girl. “And this 1980s looking crackhead is Louise Leon jumped in to talk about my African features in a degrading fashion. They were basically being racist jerks to me for no reasons just like all the other girls before them.”

“Maybe because of what happens on the tape.” Zaiyia stressed, gesturing to the screen. “Why else?

“Hold on, what happens here?” Mr. Quinn directed to the screen at Zaiyia's mouth moving in response to one of the girls. “What did you just say to her?”

“Who?” Zaiyia squinted her eyes a bit to get what her principal was pointing out. Rifling mentally through her memory bank, her eyes lit up when she recalled her very words. “Oh, Miley asked him if anyone could even see me in the dark because of my deep skin tone and I told her she better hope not or I'll smack what little pigmentation she had left in her pale ass skin tone and leave her like a corpse all up on the floor...something along those lines.”

Mr. Quinn's eyes widen in disgust. “And you think those comments are excusable for you to say?”

“Oh absolutely, especially when you got a racist motherfucker calling out your natural features cause they're a bunch of hating ass bitches, you bet that motherfucking shit right there is excusable.” Zaiyia disputed quite intensely, not the least bit apologetic. “Hell, you don't wanna be a casualty of war when you step to me then you best shut your mouth and mind your damn business, if not, then you get what's coming to you.”

“I won't tell you again, Ms. Halifax, to watch your language.” Mr. Quinn recited tightly after she once again schooled him.

Pinching the bridge of her nose in irritation, Zaiyia let out a sigh. It was hard not to cuss when this man kept falling into the same pool of ignorance like he's been brainwashed to. Still, she wasn't trying to make her situation worse and so she took a deep breath and peeked back at the screen. The bus was coming to a stop in the video...her stop. Reaching up, she gestured with a finger to the screen. “Okay look, I held my tongue for the rest of the ride but the moment I get off they made another offensive comment about my...guardian and I just had enough at that point.”

It was clear she had enough for she was currently attacking Louise on camera before taking off for Eliesse and finally Miley who was already using her backpack as armor before the bus driver finally caught up with Zaiyia and towed her off the bus. All this brutality that transpired during this bus ride and she still wasn't the least bit ashamed of her actions. Pausing the video, Mr. Quinn sat back in his chair and sighed deeply. He took a moment to consider Zaiyia as he took in all he's gathered and observed since this incident took place. Zaiyia's story would be hard for him to accept if there hadn't been racist activities going on around her already. No principal wants to hear that racism is currently corrupting their schools! It was truly one of the many horrors Mr. Quinn feared would spread in his own schools when he became a principal, and now that it's manifested itself he wasn't sure what to do. Sure, it would be easy to claim Zaiyia's story as deceptive because she was one voice against a million. Not very many would back her up. But that wouldn't sit right with him. He was the principal of this school and it was his job to look after these kids and that meant Zaiyia too. He took satisfaction in being an exceptional principal and he wasn't about to quit now. “I believe you, Ms. Halifax.”

Zaiyia was positive she had misheard him and frowned. “I'm sorry, what?”

“I said, I believe you.” Mr. Quinn restated. “I believe your reaction was due to racism from those three girls.”

“...well damn.” Zaiyia responded, taken aback. He believed her? “S-So what does that mean? I mean, what happens now?”

Mr. Quinn sat forward and picked up his office phone. “What happens now is I call your guardian, Mr. Sullivan, and inform him of what happened.”

For once, Zaiyia wasn't going to freak out at the idea of Heath being informed on what happened. Relaxing back in her seat, she observed her principal chat with her guardian all the while speculating what Heath had been doing at the time of the call...and what he was wearing. Quivering in reminiscence of him in a tight t-shirt and how nicely it hugged his sculpted muscles, Zaiyia glared down at her shoes. It was unusual to think that her principal sided with her and not her victims. Okay, she can admit she didn't have to take it as far as she did and she could have been the bigger person and walked away unruffled but she wasn't about to let anyone think it was ever going to be tolerable to drag Heath's name through any of this baloney. Go ahead and attack and bully her, that's fine, but do NOT tarnish her man's name! Even if he's not her man and will never be.

Mr. Quinn said his goodbyes to Heath and hung up his phone. He turned his attention to his bullied student. “Zaiyia, I want to apologize once again for this happening to you. No student should have to go through what you've been put through by these awful girls. I'm sure you're aware I will be speaking to these three ladies and disciplining them for their parts in this, but I wouldn't be doing my job if I did not suspend you for a few days for retaliating.”

“Are you kidding me here?!” Zaiyia disputed, sweeping her braids back over her shoulder. “So what? They get a slap on the wrist and I get fucking suspended for a few days?!”

“It'll be longer than a few days if you don't watch your mouth.” Mr. Quinn cautioned her again. “And those ladies will be getting more than a slap on the wrist, I can guarantee you of that. I won't tolerate racism in my school.” As Zaiyia snatched up her backpack and jumped to her feet to stomp out of the room, Mr. Quinn slipped in a brisk suggestion. “Next time, Zaiyia, be the mature one and walk away. That's the best think you can do in a situation like that.”

“Whatever, man.” Zaiyia growled before leaving his office and giving his door a nice good slam to remember her bye.