Do you wanna have some fun?
I had just started to put my belongings away in my room at my new school when a group of boys appeared noisily in my open doorway. One kid in the front spoke up, “do ya wanna have some have some fun?” I was a little shocked but I replied, “maybe later. I’m kind of in the middle of settling in. I’m Josh Farris.” “Oh we know who you are, we’ve been expecting the new kid.” I’m Ben Harper. I’m Head Boy for the 3rd Floor. I’m the guy you need to know if you need anything.” I chose not to respond. The other boys were agreeing by shaking their vigorously. “Great Ben, I’ll keep that in mind. I need to finish here before I go see about my class schedule.”
“Yeah, sure, catch you later then.” Ben mumbled as they all shuffled away while whispering back and forth. “Odd,” I was thought and finished unpacking.
I looked around the campus as I walked to the Head Master’s office. There are four brick buildings. All were similar in style. The academic buildings were smaller. Large stone plaques hung over the doorway at each entrance. One building was called Stewart Dipple Hall and the other was named Kendrick Kirkwood Hall. About 100 yards behind Dipple Hall I could see several lush, green sports fields and some stables. The administrative building was a two story, brick structure set back further from the other buildings.
I entered and found the door marked, Head Master Walter Prescott. Prescott? I guess this place was named after him or someone in his family. I had to transfer here from the public school that I had been attending Texas.
I had a quick flashback to the public school I had attended just a week ago in Portman, Texas. Portman is a farm and ranch community with a small population. It was small enough that everyone knows everyone’s business. It has the typical small town gossip network. I was the popular subject of the month.
i had been a Junior attending Portman High School. I witnessed a poor, homeless girl stealing money from a teachers purse. I had walked in on her by accident. I went to retrieve a book that I had stashed under my desk in the class that had ended a few minutes before.
Mara was homeless and lived with her mother and three younger siblings in a variety of shelters. Her mother was having difficulty finding work. I’m not sure what happened to her father. I grabbed her wrist that still had the cash in her hand. I stopped her from retreating and I wanted to talk to her. Mrs. Clay happened to walk back into her classroom at that very moment. I snatched the money from Mara’s hand and quietly whispered, “let me handle this.” She looked surprised but didn’t say anything. Mrs. Clay saw her open purse on top of her desk, saw me with a handful of money. She ordered us both to have a seat and she called the school principal. To make a long story short, I took the blame. Mrs. Clay agreed not to press charges because she did not lose her money. I was expelled for a month. The entire town heard about the incident. My father was outraged. I lied to him still trying to protect Mara. She was having a hard enough life without adding this. My father has a friend who had connections st this school.
I blinked a couple of times realizing where I am now. I knocked softly on the door and heard a male voice telling me to come in. I turned the knob and stepped into a plush outer office. I looked around, no one was at the desk in this outer room. “I’m back here, come on back.” The voice said. I stepped into a door located a few steps to my right. As I walked in, a man stood up from behind the desk and reached out to shake my hand. I shook his hand as he introduced himself as Walter Prescott III. “Hello sir, I’m Josh Farris.” I said as he pointed to a chair beside me and he sat down. Mr. Prescott was huge! He was very tall and fit. I thought he must have been a football player. I realized I was gawking at him and I muttered, “sorry, um, your office is very nice.” I managed to get out. He thanked me and pulled two leather folders that had my name engraved across the front. He kept one and passed the other folder to me.
“Well, Josh, I’m very pleased that you chose to join our school. We have a lot to offer and I think you’re going to enjoy it here.” I relaxed a little. Mr. Prescott gave me an overview while flipping through the pages in my folder. I followed along. It had basics about the academy, a map of buildings with all of the buildings labeled. He covered a few basic rules that students were expected to follow. In a more serious voice he covered the cell phone policy. Phones must be left in the dorm rooms in a lock box provided in each students closet and could only be used after school hours and on weekends. He had me write down my five digit numerical lock box code. He explained there were no exceptions. Any students caught with a cell phone during school hours would have their phones confiscated. He pulled keys from his coat pocket and unlocked and opened a drawer in the credenza to his left. I looked and saw at least 20 cell phones in it. I told him I was clear on the policy.
By the time I left Mr Prescott’s office
it was dinner time and I was starving. I found the cafeteria and made my way to the back of the line. There was already a large number of students seated and eating. Tonights food looked good. I grabbed a glass of water and started to scan the room for a place to sit. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Ben stand up and point at a seat beside him. For some reason I had a bad feeling about him so I acted like I didn’t see him and sat at a table a couple of rows over with my back to him. There were two boys already sitting there. “You don’t mind if I sit with you, right?” They shook their heads no. The smaller of the two, a red headed kid with lots of freckles, said “no you’re welcome to sit here. I introduced myself. The red headed boy said “I’m Sam Cooper and this is my brother, Kevin, we’re twins.” I could see the resemblance. Kevin’s hair was more blonde than red. “Fraternal twins,” Kevin said as he saw me looking at their differences. We chatted while eating. They seemed intelligent and a witty. Sam said, “our dorm room is across the hall from yours. Have you met Angus Fleming yet?” “Who?” I asked. Sam continued, “Angus Fleming. He’s your roommate. He’s in detention and has to do chores in the stables. I think today is his last day.” Sam explained.
I was told that bells would ring at different times and how they were used to signal things like when we had to clear the cafeteria and head to our dorms We had free time and could hang out in the Rec room until the last bell rang at 8:00pm. That was about two hours away. The twins said I could meet some more boys there.
Sam and Kevin introduced me to several of the guys sitting on sofas watching TV. Ben was watching while the introductions were being made. He walked over and placed a hand on my shoulder like we were best friends. “Save my introduction dorky twin one, I was the first to meet and greet Mr. Farris when he first arrived earlier today.” Ben’s two friends were with him.
Sam cleared his throat and told Ben, “good to know Ben. We certainly don’t want to waste your time.” Kevin made a little sweeping motion with his hands as if he was shooing Ben away. This brought laughs from me as well as Kevin and the boys on the sofa. Ben’s face turned a bright red, he clenched his fist and looked straight at me and hissed, “listen new boy, you better not press your luck! Remember, I’m Head Boy and I know everything that happens here.” “Good to know Ben, see you later.” I leaned in toward Ben just a little letting him know that I was not intimidated.
With that Ben harrumphed and turned and left with his friends. I turned back to Sam and Kevin, “who does that guy think he is?” Kevin replied “he thinks he runs everything but, you better be careful. Ben has the ear of Mr. Bell and can get you in trouble. He fabricates lies and everyone knows that he can’t be trusted.”
“Who’s Mr. Bell?” I hadn’t heard of him yet. Sam said, he’s Mr. Prescott’s Assistant. He’s a nightmare and sneaky just like Ben. Thank goodness, Mr. Prescott is really nice.”
The eight o’clock bell sounded and made our way to the stairs. I got up almost halfway and realized that I had left my academy folder on the back of the sofa downstairs. I yelled up to the twins, “forgot something. I’ll be up in a sec.”
I picked up my folder and headed back to the stairs. I stopped short because I saw Ben and his partners in crime. They had stopped on the stairs halfway up to the second floor. They hadn’t seen me so I stepped back behind a large plant. I could hear their conversation clearly.
Ben was talking to the others, “ Wanna have some fun?” I don’t like this new guy, Josh. He thinks he’s a little too good for us. Here’s what we need to do. I heard he got into a bunch of trouble for stealing at his old school. Since he was just in Prescott’s office today, he just got his lock box code. Around 5:00 am while everyone’s still asleep, we go to Prescott’s office and snatch all of the cell phones. Old man Hall told me where the spare key to that drawer is hidden. The codes for the lock boxes are in that drawer too. We sneak in, get the key, take the phones and get Farris’ code. I’ll put everything back. Then after Farris goes to breakfast, we put all of the cell phones in his lock box. When Prescott misses the cell phones, the first person he’s going to think of is Farris because of his history. He’ll get expelled and will be out of our lives.” The other boys were all in favor of Ben’s plan. They hurried off to their rooms. I waited till they were out of sight and made my way to my room.
I lay in bed trying to think of some way to foil Ben’s sinister plan. In just a few minutes the room door opened and there stood a tall, lanky guy. He walked over to the bed across from me and turned on a lamp. He hadn’t seen me. I sat up and turned on lamp. “What the hell?” He yelled apparently startled. “Sorry, I’m Josh Farris your new roommate.” “Dude, you scared the crap out of me!” He gave a little chuckle and sat down on the side of his bed. “I’m Angus, Angus Fletcher.” “Yeah Sam and Kevin told me you were working late in the stables.” I said shifting my weight onto my elbows as I sat up a little more against my pillows.
While Angus was putting on his pajamas I told him about Ben. I liked and trusted Angus right away. After we had gotten acquainted a little better, I told him about Ben’s plan. Angus had a great idea.
“I know a great place outside of Prescott’s office where we can see everything Ben and his stupid friends are doing. We can go around the back unseen. We can get there in the morning and hide before them. We leave in the morning, all dressed for our classes, beds made like we’ve left for breakfast in case they check. When we get to the office, you stand by the office window outside in a small space between a couple of bushes. You can’t be seen. That’s a perfect place to video using your cell phone. Ben can be seen through the window. I’ll stand by the entrance in another little brushy spot and video all of them going into the office. Prescott’s curtains are always open. We can see them leave, then we rush back the way we came. We stay hidden until they come out of our room. We then rush back to our room. You write a note that we can leave for Ben to find while I move all of the cell phones from your lock box into the bottom of Ben’s closet.”
I don’t understand what’s the note is about,” I said a little confused.
Angus laughed and said, “you know what Ben’s favorite saying is, right?
He always says, do you wanna have some fun? We leave the note on Ben’s table. Grab the cell phones, go to Prescott’s office. I will watch where Ben gets the key. Since we don’t have a key to the desk we leave all the cell phones in Mr. Bell’s desk chair in the outer office. We put the key back and go to class.” Angus finished.
“Wow, how did you come up with this stuff? It’s incredible and I’m all in! That’s a great plan Angus but I don’t want to get you involved. You’re just finishing one detention. You sure don’t need another,” I didn’t want to out Angus at risk.
“No way, i want to help. That creep, Ben, is the one that got me in trouble in the first place. He always causes trouble or is bullying other kids.” Angus replied with a note of finality.
“Ok, if you’re sure. Let’s get some sleep. We need to be ready by 5:30 in the morning.” I told Angus goodnight, turned off my lamp and miraculously fell right to sleep.
The alarm went off in what seemed like a few minutes. Angus was already up and dressed. He was making his bed. “Good morning.” I nodded my head as an answer, yawned, rubbed my eyes and stood up. I grabbed my clothes and quickly got ready, then made my bed. I grabbed my cell phone and we left to quietly followed Angus’ plan.
It wasn’t but about 10 minutes when the three stooges showed up. It took them only a few minutes to get inside of the office. Ben is not the smartest guy because he turned on the lamp on Mr. Prescott’s desk. I had to laugh at that. I was already videoing and could see them quite clearly thanks to Ben. It only took them about five minutes to finish up. They headed out the door. I waited a few minutes then stepped out to find Angus.
“Perfect!” Angus said as we took the back way to our building. We hid at the back stairwell entrance until we saw Ben and company leave my room. They were laughing and pushing each other apparently quite pleased with each other.
Angus retrieved the cell phones and went to Ben’s room. He was back shortly. He watched from the door as I placed the note on Ben’s table. Angus and I hurried down the back steps then walked casually to Dipple Hall and into the classroom for our first class.
Sam and Kevin looked at us but I put my index finger to my lips and mouthed “later.” They nodded and I was anxious for the day to play out.
As we were heading for our noon meal, Ben’s name was called out over the loud speaker and he was told to report to the Head Masters office. The color drained from Ben’s face. Angus and I glanced at each other and gave each other a slight grin. Ben was absent from classes the rest of the day.
Angus, the twins and I were seated having our dinner when Ben came in and headed straight to our table. “Hey there Ben. Have a seat.” I invited him cordially. He sat and he leaned over and angrily spat out, “ I know you did this to me, Farris.”
Angus and I had just shared our early morning adventure with the twins. Sam looked at Kevin and said, “we promised to call mother tonight so we need to go.” As they were leaving, Angus just quietly got up and left the table too. Now it’s just me and angry Ben.
“Ben, I take it you had a nice talk with Mr. Prescott.” “You know I did. He found all of the cell phones in my closet. I also found you’re note. You think you’re pretty smart. I told Prescott that I was framed and that someone else put those phones in there. He asked me who would do that and I almost told him but decided to take this up with you personally. Mr. Hall backed me up and assured Prescott that I had a perfect record. Prescott didn’t believe me but agreed to investigate further.”
“Good boy, Ben! Now here’s what you’re going to do next. “ He looked quite shocked but let me continue.
I have a video that I made of you and your buddies in Mr. Prescott’s office this morning. I pulled out my phone and showed him. He was speechless. I thought he might cry. From now on Benno, you will not mess with me or my friends and you will no longer bully any of the kids.”
“What? he asked surprised. “You heard me. Do we have a deal? I asked in my sweetest voice.
“Yes, I guess so but…”. I cut him off.
“No buts!” I spoke in a firm voice as I stood up to leave. Ben stayed seated and just looked at me with his jaw dropped. I turned back to him as I was walking away. “Hey Ben!” He glanced at me, “what?” he asked softly.
Do ya wanna have some fun?