Belonging to Lust

Chapter 158: Through Me

Zaiyia sighed at the Principal's request. He had finally returned from a family emergency to resume his job as Principal of this school, and was now in disbelief of her claim that she and Alice White were no longer rivals. She needed him to beckon Alice to his office so they could both sit down with him and let him in on their arrangement, but he was declining to do so because he still believed they despised each other. Having no option but to fill him in on what’s been going on between her and Alice behind the scenes while he was away, Zaiyia encapsulated what had been the turning point in her relationship with her bully. “While you’ve been in here running this school, I took matters into my own hands and met up with Alice outside of the school. We didn’t fight or anything, just talked things out woman to woman. Believe it or not, we somehow found a way to make up and now we’re totally cool with each other.”

“Just like that, huh?” Principal Quinn replied, his face still mistrustful that everything was rainbows and sunshine with the two ornery teenagers. It was unbelievable to him because of the hostility he’d witnessed thundering between them. It had been berserk, and often led to verbal spats and looming imminent altercations. How could she expect him to believe that this hostility had fizzled out all of a sudden?

“Jesus Christ, if you don’t believe me then pick up that damn phone and call Alice down here yourself!” Zaiyia impatiently snapped, gesturing with a sweep of her hand to the device he used to rally students down to his office. She didn’t know how else to get him to believe her at this point. Alice’s own words were her best shot. “You can ask her yourself!”

Principal Quinn stared hard at Zaiyia, not wishing to give in to her demand. He didn’t believe that she made nice with her foe, and yet the look in her brown eyes was becoming very telling. Still, it wouldn’t be wise to take the risk of bringing Alice in his office if it can turn into an ugly cat fight. Deciding he would need backup, Principal Quinn rose from his chair behind his desk and headed to his office door. While he plotted to mobilize his security guards back up again, he decided he’d take the time to ask his secretary to order Alice to come down to see him. Shooting Zaiyia a steely look, he pointed to her chair. “Stay put. I’ll be right back.”

“You got it, sir.” Zaiyia answered compliantly, her brown eyes watching him go.

When Principal Quinn returned he found that she had actually listened and hadn’t moved an inch. Walking around his desk to stand behind it, he inquired inquisitively. “Alright, Ms. Halifax, what’s the reason you want Alice to come down to my office so badly? It’s not just to convince me you two made up, is it? What are you really up to?”

“Nothing that would cause anyone any trouble, if that’s what you’re suspecting.” Zaiyia guaranteed. She didn’t feel right going into details when Alice wasn’t there. Her voice was just as vital as hers. “And it’s more like what ‘we’re’ up to, actually. Not just me.”

“What ‘we’re’ up to?” Principal Quinn recited, his brow arching at her. “So Alice White is just as involved with whatever you have schemed here today?”

“You make it sound so cataclysmic. But in a way, yes.” Zaiyia confirmed, itching to tell him everything. She was unable to help herself when he began to stare at her like she’d lost her damn mind. With a roll of her eyes, she blurted out. “We’re gonna stop the bullying once and for all, Principal Quinn.”

“Excuse me?” Principal Quinn exclaimed, taken aback for a moment before outrage flashed in his eyes. His fingers gripped the back of his chair as his mind leapt to the worst possible scenario. “My god, Zaiyia, have these students been harassing you right under my nose again!? Why on earth did you not tell me until now?!”

“No no no, that’s not what’s going on!” Zaiyia quieted him, shaking her head. She hadn’t meant to get him to thinking all this wretchedness was happening all over again and that she was being stupid AGAIN by not notifying him of it. Never would she make that same mistake! “No one has been bullying me! Well, physically anyway. It’s more like verbal threats underneath their breaths when they walk past me, but that’s all. It’s been a walk in the park for me compared to before.”

Principal Quinn opened his mouth to speak when Alice White soundlessly entered his office, taking his attention from Zaiyia. “Ah, you’re finally here, Ms. White. It’s nice to see you again. Have a seat beside Ms. Halifax please.” Once the timid girl did, he lowered himself down into his own chair and scrutinized the two closely. “So, how are you two plotting to successfully end this bullying once and for all?”

Alice’s brows shot upwards as she stared at him. She hadn’t expected him to know about their scheme yet. Glancing to her left at Zaiyia who nodded in support back at her, Alice cleared her throat and spoke up first. “U-Um...through me.”

“Explain, Ms. White, if you please.” Principal Quinn insisted with a nod.

“ you already know I was behind the fight with Zaiyia in the locker room. After I got in trouble for it, I stopped seeking any form of revenge against her. But what I didn’t know was that my own friends were continuing on tormenting her without my knowledge. When Zaiyia and I talked things out, I found out the truth then.” Alice recalled, lowering her shameful eyes. She hated reliving the times when things were so bad between her and Zaiyia, and when she was at her most vile. She wished she could take it all back. Swallowing the lump in her throat, she raised her eyes to the Principal and asserted. “I didn’t want all of this to happen, Principal Quinn, and so I’m ready to stop it before it gets worse.”

“And what kind of plan do you have that will do it?” Principal Quinn inquired, very intrigued.

“I want to get everyone together in one room and let them all know that Zaiyia and I are okay with each other now. That we’ve become friends.” Alice expounded, wanting in her voice. “I want to let them all know that this bullying can stop now and that they don’t need to feel like they have to take up for me when she’s done nothing wrong from the very beginning.”

“But that’s also where you come in, Principal Quinn.” Zaiyia back Alice up. “We’re gonna need your help in helping this plan to reach its full potential.”

Leaning himself back in his chair, Principal Quinn humored them. “Oh? Then tell me, how can I help?”

Reaching into the pocket of her cardigan, Alice unfolded a piece of paper and slid it across the Principal’s desk to him. “I made a list of students that I know were involved with hurting Zaiyia, and have been told were involved later without my knowledge. The second list is of the ones I suspect are just as entangled in this as the others, but have yet made their moves against her. If you can just call them to the gymnasium for us, I can talk to them there and settle this mess peacefully.”

Zaiyia watched Principal Quinn take the list, skim the list of names and nearly fell out of his chair at the many students participating in this heinous operation against her. She nodded to him. “Yeah, it’s pretty fucked up, I know.”

“Watch your language, Ms. Halifax.” Principal Quinn scolded her in a surprisingly steady voice. He didn’t appear steady at the moment, he was certain of it. His hand shook as he visualized every innocent face to every single name on the list. There were a few he knew had been immersed in this crusade but there were so many he greeted in the hallways everyday that he had no idea were also committed! It made him wonder that if there were this many involved he didn’t know about, could there be more that they didn’t even know about either! Unable to tear his eyes from the list, he grilled them for answers. “This list was made recently by you, Alice, but...what if these names have doubled since then? What if the numbers are much greater than even you two realize? Have either of you considered that?”

Alice opened and closed her mouth at first as she looked to Zaiyia urgently. “I-I don’t know. I never...I never considered that possibility.”

“Me neither.” Zaiyia mumbled, frowning to herself. How could she not have weighed that probability!? It was a ‘duh’ moment for her, and she restrained from smacking herself in the head for not contemplating it before.

“Then let’s say that’s 100% the case right now in this predicament, okay?” Principal Quinn began, needing them to play this game of pretend with him. Reaping nods from them, he went on. “Knowing all that, the smartest move here would be NOT to invite just the names on this list, but the ENTIRE school body to the gymnasium instead. We can make it an assembly, the topic presented being bullying.”

“The entire school?!” Both girls hollered in shock, their eyes magnified in size as they gaped at him.

“Exactly, the entire school. Every single student will be forced to attend it. No exceptions. I don't want a single soul in this building left out.” Principal Quinn reiterated firmly. “If I have to act like this is real, then I want my students to understand that I do NOT tolerate bullying in my school. I WON’T stand for it!”