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Coming of Age High School Inspirational

Damon’s 2nd Chance

By

Jame Michaels

Just as I was coming through the classroom door, the bell rang. “Damon, I’d like to see you after class, please.” It was Miss Mc Gary. “Yes, ma’am.” I knew what this was about. I didn’t think anyone saw me when I left school last Friday, but someone must have spotted me besides Rat Face. The real name for Rat Face was Richard. Richard was on me like stink on dodo. Not just once in a while. But ALL THE TIME! He must have a terrible home life because every day when he came to school, he had one mission. GET DAMON!! But it’s not just get GET DAMON!! It was get Damon down and beat the ever loving crap out of Damon. Over and over. Three times a week. Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Tuesday and Thursday I have band practice and my Mom picks me up after school.

I stopped by Miss Mc Gary’s desk at the end of class. Was I fighting with Richard after school last Friday? “No ma’am. He was fighting me.” “It looked like you were fighting.” “No ma’am. I didn’t even have my hands up. He fights me and he beats the-you-know-what out of me three times a week.” “Damon – you have to start standing up for yourself.” “But Miss Mc Gary, if I fight him I’ll get kicked out of school. I’m better off to run home.”

So, I stopped taking the bus from school in the afternoon, so I didn’t have to meet up with Rat Face at the bus stop when I got off Number 23. He had to take Number 17. He got kicked off Number 23 for fighting and they put him on Number 17. And guess what? Number 23 and Number 17 wind up at the same bus stop – the last stop, at the end of the line. So I stopped taking the bus home. I walk home because it is safer.

So I am walking home one day about a month ago. It had been a while since I saw Rat Face, and it looks like my walking home to miss Rat Face has been working, and who do I run into? Carolyn O’Connor. She is like the cutest girl in the whole school. She’s (secretly) the girl of my dreams. I know it’s stupid. Her father is a dentist and I don’t have a father. Her mother is on PTA or something that rich mothers do for the school. My mom works a nine to five. She wears the cutest little outfits, a different one every day, and I wear the same pair of khaki pants every day and a polo shirt.

When I see her I can’t even talk and she thinks that is the cutest thing that I am tongue tied and can’t get any really smart things out of my mouth. I’d like nothing better than to take her into my arms and, and, well you know what I mean. So what does she tell me last week? This ugly guy Richard something or other has been asking her out and she can’t make him see that she has no interest in him whatsoever. What can she do? “I’d have your father call the principal and tell the principal that Richard is bothering you and it has to stop.” Carolyn nods her head up and down. “O.K. I’ll try that.”

I just make it into class as the bell is ringing. “Damon I’d like to see you after class, please.” It was Friday, my last class for the week. “Yes ma’am.” I got an A on my report. My mom will be happy to see that bit of good news. After class I go see Miss Mc Gary. She wants to know how I have been making out with Rat Face. She doesn’t call him that but that is who she is talking about. I tell her what I have been doing and she wants to know how that has been working out? I tell her and she says. “Do you have a minute? I’d like to show you something.”

“I was talking to my father about you and he wants to give you some training. Interested?” “Yes ma’am!” I met her dad. He was the same size as me. We spent a half an hour on hand to hand training he used in the service. I had to go back and meet him in a week for the second lesson. He and I met up in the gym at school on Saturday. Miss Mc Gary’s dad wants to see what I remember. We go through the steps. “Perfect!” her dad shouts. “I have one more for you!” They go through the paces and her dad asks if Damon thinks it will work. “Do I ever hit him in the face? That’s what he always does to me.” “No,” her dad says. “Let’s wait for the last class next week.”

I walked into the last period on Friday a little early. Miss Mc Gary said, “Damon. How are your lessons coming along?” I didn’t say a word. I gave her a thumbs up sign and sat down. I got to the gym a little early on Saturday. When her dad walked in, her dad said, “Ready?” I hollered a little louder than I meant to, “Yes sir. Ready!” ”This is your last class Damon, let’s go over the first two lessons. Miss Mc Gary’s dad and I went over the three moves from the first class. “Perfect!” Then they went through the moves from last week. “You are a little rusty on the second move. Do you have someone you can practice with on that one?” I thought about it. “I think I know a guy.” They went over the last three moves. “O.K. Damon. You need to join a gym where you can go and practice these nine moves in order. Next you need to do your warm up exercises, every morning except for Sunday. O.K.?”

On Friday the following week, I got on Number 23. More than just a few of my buddies knew what happened the last time I rode on Number 23. But no one said a thing. One of the kids who rode to the last stop hollered out, “Look Damon, Number 17 is already here!!” Everyone got off the bus. I got off last. As I descended the stairs of the bus, I noticed Rat Face to the left, but I was looking to the right when my foot touched the ground. Rat Face called out my name, but instead of looking to the left, I swung around to the right and did a straight arm move right into Rat Face’s chest. That move knocked Rat Face smack on his back. I then backed up to give Rat Face a chance to get up. Rat Face came forward, and WHAM, BANG, I stuck my left leg out and pushed Rat Face back and down Fat Face went for a second time. This time on his face. The ground where we were fighting was a little rocky and Rat Face cut his check when he went down. The other kids were all brave now and lined up behind me. “Had enough Richard, or do you really want me to really give you an ass whooping?” Richard raised his hand. “I give.”

The following Monday I walked home from school. Carolyn hollered out from behind, “Hey wait a minute!” I stopped and waited for her to catch up. “Can I ask you a question,” I asked when we were standing next to one another. “Sure.” “Can I take you to the Homecoming Dance in two weeks?” “Oh yes!! You bet you can!”

July 01, 2022 20:51

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7 comments

Chris Morris
23:04 Jul 09, 2022

Hi Jame, I liked the sort of conversational tone of this piece, it suits your character and the high school setting perfectly. I would say you could do with slowing down a bit and taking the time to detail the most important parts of the story. In a story with a 3,000 word limit, every word counts and should add meaningfully to the plot. Sometimes I felt you were explaining a lot of things that didn't quite add anything to the story. Very well written though and a pleasing conclusion. Well done.

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Jame Michaels
17:50 Jul 14, 2022

I have had problems in the past with word count limits. "Just let me tell the story, dang it!" LOL. I am a pantster. Maybe if I had done an outline first. . . But a week is not much time to be an outline writer. I also work full time, so I feel the "need for speed". I'll take your comments under advisement. Thank you!

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Michael Regan
18:36 Jul 14, 2022

Great story - I was suddenly back in high school ;-) You asked Joanne about writing course. I can recommend a book that has helped me quite a bit "On Writing: A Memoir Of The Craft Book " by Stephen King.

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Jame Michaels
18:52 Jul 14, 2022

Thank you Michael. I'll try to grab a copy.

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Gigi Gibson
21:58 Jul 13, 2022

Jame, Your theme about bullying is very relevant today. I like that Damon figured out for himself how he needed to handle the situation, and he took charge of his life and actions. His desire was to win Carolyn’s heart and in the end your story did not disappoint. As for suggestions on improving and growing your writing skills… I myself love to take writing classes. Some I have paid for, and others can be found for free on the internet. Read good stories and try to learn what works in those stories that draw you in as a reader. Then do thos...

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Jame Michaels
17:53 Jul 14, 2022

Thank you for the comments. Reading your WWII story recently hit home for me. Do you have suggestions for a writing course, I can look into? Thank ou again for the comments.

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Gigi Gibson
20:35 Jul 14, 2022

You are so welcome! The courses I took were helpful to me but for each person it is different. If you are wanting to write war stories you may choose something different from another writer who wants to make children’s books. I’ve taken two Masterclass corses… one by James Patterson, and the other by Judy Blume. While James Patterson’s books are suspenseful, I still learned a lot about writing from Judy Blume even though she is a children’s book author. I’ve taken a lot of classes online but I’ll narrow it down to my favourites… I LOVE the ...

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