Categories > Original > Drama0 Reviews
A story I wrote for a school assignment. As a man waits to see his son at the hospital, he thinks about different events in his son's life. If anyone has any suggestions for a future plot, please l...
I was getting sick of coffee. It had been seven hours and still no word. Everyone else was asleep. I had never expected such a large crowd to turn out. I had always thought Tyler was somewhat of a loner. Yeah, he had a few friends. But I didn't think he had this many. Of course maybe most of these kids didn't really know him. Maybe they just cared that a fellow student was in the hospital. I rubbed my eyes and leaned back in the uncomfortable chair. My ass felt like lead. I finished the coffee and stood up to throw away the cup. I had to step over some kids who had fallen asleep on the floor. I didn't know who the hell most of these kids were. Allison was asleep with her head leaning against the wall. Her eyes were red from crying.
I threw the cup on top of the nine other cups I had thrown away. I leaned my head against the wall. The last ten hours kept playing back in my head. I could still see Tyler lying on the floor twitching. God knows how long he had been there. What if I had been late? He could have died. I started to get pissed again. I was pissed at myself. I was pissed at the school for not having enough hall monitors. I was pissed at the kid who put the peanut butter in Tyler's chili. I was pissed at everyone. I felt tears coming again. This was such a nightmare. Tyler didn't deserve this. He didn't deserve any of this. But I can't change the fact he's allergic to peanuts. The image of Tyler's twitching body flashed in front of my eyes. I could see the spilled chili lying next to him, small globs of peanut butter mixed in with it. The cursed peanut butter smeared on Tyler's lips. How the hell hadn't he noticed there was peanut butter in the chili? Of course when he's in a hurry, he wouldn't noticed if he was eating straight peanut butter. I cradled my head in my hands and slumped to the ground. My mind went back to that morning.
Tyler was up before me as usual. He was making breakfast and singing along to Bob Dylan's Shelter from the Storm. I walked into the kitchen and my mouth watered as the smell of pancakes hit my nose. Tyler was a good cook. I don't know who he got it from. I couldn't make toast. Allison never taught him.
"Morning, Dad," said Tyler, grinning his big smile.
"Morning. You raided my CD cabinet again," I said.
"Buy me a copy of Blood on the Tracks and I won't have to," said Tyler, flipping the pancakes over.
"It's not just Blood on the Tracks. I can't find any of my Dave Matthews and all my Nirvana is gone," I said. Tyler shrugged his shoulders.
"You take your pills?" I asked, getting the milk out of the fridge.
"Yes I did," said Tyler.
"Good," I said, pouring myself a glass of milk.
"Hey, Dad, can I talk to you about something?" asked Tyler.
"Of course," I said.
"There's these kids at school who keep picking on me. I've talked to the assistant principal and the principal but nothing has changed. Could you go talk to the principal today?" asked Tyler.
"Sure. How long have you been being picked on?" I asked, now getting worried. Why had Tyler never mentioned this before?
"A couple of months," said Tyler.
"What do they do?"
"Say mean things. Push me down. Sometimes beat me up. Same people who got me in trouble two months ago."
"Why haven't you mentioned this before?"
"I was kind of embarrassed."
"Have you told Mom about this?"
"She'd throw a hissy fit." I chuckled a little.
"I'll go talk to those idiots who run your school." I didn't really get along with any of the administration at Tyler's school. Mainly cause they thought I was a world class fuck up.
I snapped back to reality when I felt a hand on my shoulder. It was Allison. She looked tired and her eyes were red from crying.
"Come outside with me, Jack. I want to talk to you," she said, motioning for me to follow her. I sighed and followed her outside the nearby OR doors. The crowd of people in the waiting room were still sleeping.
"What do you want to talk about?" I asked.
"I never got a chance to thank you for saving Tyler's life today. You did good, Jack," said Allison, leaning against a rail.
"Too bad I arrived late. Maybe I could have prevented this," I said.
"There would be no way for you to know someone spiked his peanut butter. You saved him from an allergy attack. I never thought you'd be able to do that."
"I've seen you do it plenty of times." Allison nodded. There was a few seconds of awkward silence. Not that we were uncomfortable being around each other. It's just we were both worried about Tyler. More so then usual. He had never had this bad of an attack.
"So what's going to happen to the asshole who put the peanut butter in his chili?" I asked.
"I don't think he realized what he was doing. I'm sure he's getting suspended. But apart from that, I don't know."
"We should press charges."
"That seems a little harsh."
"I don't think so. Tyler could have died. We shouldn't just sit back and let that jerk-off get away with this."
"He's just a kid."
"Remember what happened two months ago?" I asked. Allison nodded. My mind started to wander again.
We had gotten the call about ten minutes. Well, I had gotten the call ten minutes ago. Allison had been called a few minutes before me. Tyler was in deep shit at school. He had gotten in a fight. Actually it was more like he had fought back against some punks who had been messing with him and his friends. We drove to the school together. We figured it'd be best if we handled this together. When we arrived at the school, we parked and rushed to the principals office. The other parents were already there. Tyler and his three friends were sitting in front of the principals desk, looking sad and pitiful. The other parents were standing behind them. They all looked really pissed. Tyler turned around to look at Allison and I. He turned back around, his head hung in shame. Allison and I looked at each other. We felt more sorry for him then anything. I could tell Allison was a little pissed off. The teacher who had written the boys up walked in. I nearly had a heart attack. How in the hell was she still alive? Mrs. Loretta Morrison, my twelfth grade math teacher, sat down next to the principal. Looks like she went back to teaching middle school. She gave me an evil glare. All the bad things I had ever done in her class started whirling through my head. This was not going to be pretty.
"Behavior like this is not tolerated in this school," said Mr. Finch, the principal. Morrison straightened her glasses.
"The fighting is just the start. These boys had an attitude with me when I confronted them," said Morrison. Because you probably made them feel like shit. Tyler looked like he was about to cry. This was the most trouble he had ever been in.
"The punishment for this is going to be very severe," said Finch. Here we go.
"The boys are suspended for the next two weeks. After that, they will serve detention every day for the following week," explained Finch, giving dirty looks to the boys.
"I must say that in all of my years of teaching that this some of the worst behavior I have ever seen," said Morrison. She looked at me.
"Although it doesn't even come close to smoking pot in the bathroom," said Morrison. Allison gave me a shocked look. I had never told her that my friends and I had ditched class to smoke pot in the bathroom one day. The other parents glared at me. They already thought I was a fuck up. Now they probably thought I was a bad role model for my son too.
"That's all. The suspension starts today," said Finch. The other parents quickly led their sons away to have long talks with them. I could hear two of them really letting their son have it. Tyler slowly got out of his chair. He was crying now. I felt so bad for him. He had been defending himself against some punk kids and now he was in trouble. Tyler couldn't even look us in the eye. He stared at the floor. Finch was shaking his head in disappointment.
"I'm very disappointed in you, Mr. Connors. You're too good of a kid for this," said Morrison to Tyler. Tyler let out a sob.
"Do you mind? He already feels bad enough," I said.
"Still a smart alec," said Morrison.
"I like the term smartass better," I said, seething with anger. Morrison narrowed her eyes. She hated curse words. Despised them actually. Allison kicked my ankle to stop me from exploding on Morrison. This wasn't the first time she had made Tyler cry. The first was when she bashed him in front of his class for turning in a paper late. Tyler had come home balling. We walked to the car in silence. We stopped at Tyler's locker so he could grab his books so he wouldn't get too far behind during his suspension. I wasn't mad at him at all. He had every right to fight back. Too bad one of the kids he hit had parents who donated tons of money to the school.
"Ty, wait here for a minute. I need to talk to your mother," I said. Tyler nodded. I pulled Allison aside.
"I know you want to punish him but I don't think he deserves it," I said.
"Jack, he's getting punished. He's been suspended," said Allison.
"It was self defense," I said.
"I know. We'll go easy on him but he's not getting away with no punishment," said Allison. I sighed.
"How about this. He's grounded for the two weeks he's suspended but he can spend that time at your house," said Allison. That would make him happy. The last time he had been grounded Allison had been furious. Tyler had gotten an attitude with a teacher who had accused him of cheating. He had said fuck you by accident. Apart from the month long detention, he was grounded for two months.
"OK," I said. Allison nodded.
"Come on, Tyler," said Allison. Tyler followed us out to the car.
The ride to my place was quiet save for the occasional sob from Tyler. I stuck in some Dave Matthews to make him feel better. When we pulled into my driveway, Tyler got out first. He probably wanted to go sulk in his room.
"Tyler, go to the living room," said Allison.
"But, Mom-" not a good time to argue, buddy.
"Tyler Joseph Connors, living room now," said Allison. Tyler sighed and walked towards the house. He threw his book bag on the floor of the living room and sat down in a chair. Allison and I sat down in a chair across from him.
"We won't lecture you. You've probably had enough of that today. But that doesn't mean you're not in trouble. You're grounded for two weeks," said Allison. Tyler nodded.
"You can stay with Dad though. God knows your stepfather will flip when he hears about this," said Allison. Tyler didn't say anything.
"You can go," said Allison. Tyler stood up and started to walk to his room.
"Ty," said Allison. Tyler turned around, fresh tears running down his face.
"Come here," said Allison, holding her arms out. Tyler walked over to her and fell into her embrace. She rubbed his back for about a minute before letting him go.
"Don't feel bad, baby. You did what anyone else would have done. But that doesn't make it right," said Allison.
"I know, Mom. I'm really sorry," said Tyler, crying now.
"Oh, honey, don't cry. I'm not mad. But I don't condone fighting," said Allison. She kissed Tyler on the cheek. Tyler nodded and then went to his room.
"No TV. No going out. No friends over," said Allison. I nodded.
"I'm letting him watch 24. It's painful to miss one this far in the season," I said.
"Only 24 then," said Allison, getting up. She walked to the door.
"In a few minutes go talk to him," said Allison.
"I will," I said.
"I'll stop by tomorrow to have a talk with him," said Allison.
"OK," I said.
"Take care of him. He's going to be depressed," said Allison.
"I know what to do," I said. Allison gave me a small smile and left. I waited about five minutes before I went to see Tyler. He was lying on his bed with his back turned to the door. I could hear him quietly crying. I sat down on the edge of his bed and rubbed his back.
"Don't cry. You had every right to fight back," I said. Tyler rolled over and looked at me.
"It's not fair. I get in trouble and they don't," said Tyler.
"I know. I know it's not fair," I said. Tyler let out a choked sob.
"I don't really care if you watch TV," I said, trying to cheer him up. Tyler gave a weak smile.
Snapping out of my thoughts, I noticed Tyler's doctor, John Warren, walking towards the door. Allison and I looked at each other, hope and fear in our eyes, and walked back inside. John gave us a reassuring smile.
"Tyler's still in a coma. He's on life support since he was having a hard time breathing on his own. He's responding to touch and voices," I faded out. I didn't care about what the hell was wrong with him. It sounded like he was doing better. At least he was aware of what was going on around him. I dealt with this shit better that way. I just wanted to see Tyler. After about two minutes, John led us towards Tyler's room. We didn't wake anyone else up because we didn't want a mob rushing to go see him.
The light was dim in Tyler's room. He was sleeping soundly. Allison pulled up a chair next to the bed and started to run a hand through Tyler's hair. I just stood next to the bed, staring down at Tyler. No matter how many times he was hospitalized I never got used to seeing him like this. This time he looked a little worse. He looked pale and his eyes had some dark rims under them. Damnit. I hope that kid who did this gets expelled. My mind started to wander again.
The halls of the school were deserted when I pulled up in front of it. I hadn't been here since sixth grade open house the year before. Allison was the one who dealt with school problems. Not that Tyler had any problems. He was a straight A student. But occasionally Tyler and his friends would get caught goofing around and get sent to the office. And they would always call Allison. Because she really didn't care. Boys will be boys, she always says. Mainly about Tyler and me.
I was almost to the principals office when I found him. He was lying in the hall, twitching and trying to catch his breath. I ran over to him and cradled him in my arms. I had a few seconds of panic where I didn't know what the fuck to do. Then it hit me. His EpiPen. I reached into his pocket and pulled it out. But when I jammed it into his thigh, I realized it was empty. I picked him and headed for the nurses office. If they didn't have anything to help him, he was screwed.
The nurse was shocked when I brought Tyler in. Luckily she had an EpiPen in her desk. Tyler stopped twitching when I jammed the new one in his thigh but he didn't wake up. The nurse was already calling an ambulance so I just held Tyler in my arms, praying that he would open his eyes.
I jumped as Paul walked into the room.
"Allison, we've got to go. It's getting late," said Paul.
"I think I'm going to stay here tonight," said Allison, not taking her eyes off Tyler.
"What? Why?" asked Paul. Are you fucking kidding me?
"In case you haven't noticed, Paul, but Tyler is in the hospital," I said, willing myself not to break Paul's jawbone. Paul gave me an evil look.
"This doesn't concern you, Jack," said Paul.
"Actually, Paul it does. That's my son lying in the bed over there. And you're rushing his mother out of the room. Not you better start showing some compassion or you can get the fuck out of here," I said, getting in Paul's face. Paul let out a huff and then left. Allison laughed.
"What do you see in him?" I asked, pulling a chair up to Tyler's bed and sitting down.
"I don't know," said Allison. So the truth comes out. I sat down next to Tyler. He looked pale and weak. His breathing was a little raspy and he sometimes choked on the tube in his mouth a little. It pained me to see him like this. And all we could do was wait.