Belonging to Lust

Chapter 107: Back Up My Story?

Principal Quinn's slim body unwound back in his seat from its previous stiffen position. He let out a sigh of reprieve that Heath Sullivan believed him when he told him he was completely uninformed of the scuffle involving Zaiyia in her science class had ever taken place in the first place. Yes, he well-informed of the major uprising of violence that broke out within the very hallway of her science class and had supervised that accordingly, but not what had happened to Zaiyia.

Hell, he didn't even know about ALL the other altercations that had taken place between the first one in the locker room and this one in the science class. Chasity had filled him in privately when her dad had used the restroom. She clearly didn't want her father to know the devastation that she's been associated in at school.

Chasity had surged up from her seat the moment her dad had pardoned himself to use the restroom. Before then, she had been sitting beside him, twiddling her fingers and bouncing her knee. She had just concluded confessing to the Principal about the scuffle that had happened under her father's direct order and now that he was gone, she wanted to come fully clean to the Principal without her father seeing. Slapping her hands on his desk, she fearfully began ranting away. “Principal Quinn, please, you have to listen to me! There's been more than this confrontation and the locker room that you don't know about.”

“Excuse me?” Principal Quinn retorted, taking off his reading glasses to grant her a look of puzzlement. “What do you mean 'there's more than this fight', Miss Chasity?”

“Exactly that!” Chasity briefly peered over her shoulder to make sure there wasn't a broad obscurity of a man snooping behind the frosted glass of the office door. “Every single day, Zaiyia Halifax has been maliciously bullied by the bulk of the student body in the atrociousest of ways you and I have never seen before!”

“How can that be?” Principal Quinn stipulated, finding her accounts to be illogical. “If there had been anymore fights since then and now I would know about it!”

“Not if the whole damn school is targeting one single student! Of course, they're not gonna tell you they're all bullying her!” Chasity upheld. “And Zaiyia is too goddamn proud to say anything about it!”

“Proud?” Principal Quinn reiterated incredulously. If what Chasity was saying was legitimate, what kind of person would oppose the whole student body on their own instead of going to an adult for support? “No, Miss Bennett, I wouldn't call that proud. I'd call that complete madness!”

“I couldn't agree more.” Chasity granted with a nod. “But you have to know this now. Only you can put a stop to this and if Zaiyia isn't going to be the one to run to you for help than I will.”

“How many fights are we talking about, Miss Bennett and who was involved?” Principal Quinn quizzed her, reaching out for a pen and a notepad.

“Holy crap, that's a lot of information. Umm...” Chasity dashed her hands through her tousled hair and began to tread back and forth in front of his desk. “The first fight was the locker room riot and you know about that one. I don't remember which came next but there was a fight in the hallway with, Carmen Lodge, Betty Reinhart, and Madelaine Blossom. The one in the gym was enormous and involved Catherine Lourd, Celeste Hosterman, Grace Duke, Jocelyn Carter, Karen Shrader, Michelle Seyfriend, and Rose Roberts. There was the one in the girl's bathroom with Elizabeth Knightly and Laura Heard. You of course know about the one on the bus. far that's it.”

“So far that's it?” Principal Quinn rehashed as he peered down the quite imposing list of oppressors. He thought to scrap Chasity's nonsensical story but was spawning a sickening terror in his stomach.

“Well, they're not gonna quit now!” Chasity exclaimed, throwing her arms up in the air. “They won't stop unless you do something about it!”

Principal Quinn held up a palm toward her as a signal to calm down and lower her voice. “Miss Bennett, do you have any witnesses to such claims as these? Anything to back your story up?”

“Back my story up?” Chasity echoed in offense. “What, you don't believe me!?”

“You have to look at it from my perspective, Miss Bennett. How do I know you're not making this up?” Principal Quinn challenged.

“Why the hell would I make all this up!? For attention?” Chasity barked, only to receive a tolerant expression on his face. Sighing, she ran her hands through her hair again. She had eyewitnesses, alright...she just didn't know if they'd abhor her just as much as Zaiyia will when she finds out what she's just done. “Yeah, I do. Monique McCoy came along during the aftermath of Carmen, Madelaine, and Betty's fight. She helped Zaiyia out and they became great friends. She and her sisters Aishah and Assata were both involved in the fight in the gymnasium. Her sisters came to rescue Monique who refused to leave Zaiyia to fight alone.”

“And why haven't they came up to tell me all of this?” Principal Quinn grilled. “Why just you?”

“Because they see this as Zaiyia's business to tell on her own. It's not their fight. But if need be, they'd sooner stand up with her than run to you for help.” Chasity explained. “And as for me the responsible one or just chicken shit. I had to come here and take a shot on you...even if that means I lose my friends in the process. At least Zaiyia would finally be protected.”

“If I called the McCoys sisters in today, do you think they'll speak to me to corroborate your story?” Principal Quinn asked her.

“Perhaps if you mention that I came clean.” Chasity shrugged. “If you have to, I'll be there to tell them myself. I've already burned all the bridges I had with them just by coming to you. There is nothing else for me to lose.”

Principal Quinn scrawled down a reminder to summon the sisters in later, before turning his attention to Chasity. “I'll look into this further later, Miss Bennett, until th”-

“There was another fight outside in the hallway at the time Zaiyia and I were locked in that classroom.” Chasity brought up earnestly. “You had to have heard about that one.”

“I did.” Principal Quinn verified, not seeing where she was going with this.

“Those boys are dating Elsa Nilson, Elena Gouling, and Andrea Kelsing.” Chasity divulged. “They had their boyfriend start that fight out in the hall to draw everyone out of that classroom, so they could attack her without interference.”

Principal Quinn's brow furrowed in deep thought. He totally missed that connection! Those same boys were dating the girls involved in the fight with Zaiyia and Chasity...what are the odds?

“They're perfectly happy, normal students, aren't they?” Chasity tried him, trying to get the gears to start spinning in his head. “So why all of a sudden did they snap and resort to brutality that goes against their character if it wasn't because their little girlfriends instructed them too? Love can make you do senseless things, Principal Quinn.”

A rapid call to the police station where the three students had been taken substantiated Chasity's story. They had indeed been led to violence by their girlfriend's insistence. What was once a preposterous story became the cold hard truth that only made Principal Quinn feel like failure. This was his school to preserve and now look what happened. Raising his eyes to Heath and Mr. Bennett, he clamped his hands on top of his desk and vowed. “I swear to you, Mr. Bennett, and Mr. Sullivan, that I plan to rectify the violence infecting my halls once and for all. I've been briefed of everything that's been going on behind my back.” His eyes drifted to Zaiyia who sat frozen in her seat as she glared at him skeptically. He studied the inquiry on her face and nodded in response. “And I mean EVERYTHING.”

Zaiyia turned her head away, her heart tumbling to the pit of her stomach to dissolve into her stomach acid. He knew. He somehow knew about all the fights, not just this one. Someone had to have told him...did that mean Heath now knew too? A brief glance at him told her nothing. He was still avoiding glancing her way.

She mentally faded out as Principal Quinn began to chat to Heath and Mr. Bennett of his plan of action. It didn't matter what he said, he couldn't stop these kids, no one could. Still, she couldn't help but speculate if it did miraculously work, how different her life would be.