Unpunished or “A Realization of Sin”

I can remember when I learned what sin was. Almost every day for an entire year I thought about what we’d done to Hunter Newman. I’d ride home from school in the car with my mom and stare disengaged out the window. As the trees whizzed by, my stomach churned and ached with remorse. She’d ask about my science project for Mrs. Paine’s class and my plans to go to the movies with Will and his family. All I could do was force out answers, all the while praying she’d ask about the night of the band concert.

After being downright chafed with Hunter’s obnoxious trumpet antics after the show, we staged a fight in the boy’s locker room to lore him in. It was my idea to fake an assault on Will and I was the one who made the sales pitch. When Hunter was trapped between the rows of lockers and the long wooden bench, there was no chance for a square fight, no match off, or no moment for him to face the likes of an opponent. He was cornered and viciously beaten. I guess you could say he was jumped. Hunter went home that night with a swollen face, but the next day we found out that his mother located the yellow and purple bruises on his arms and the bloody scratches on his neck.

Every day on the ride home from school we’d turn out of town and onto the interstate that ran long and straight through the most rural section of the county. As the car accelerated under my mom’s control, the steady hum of the tires grew louder. With the sound grew the nausea from the depths of my stomach. The guilt never failed to emerge each day at the same place along that interstate as the scene from the locker room replayed in my head. My palms would sweat anxiously as I yearned for an opportunity to be released from my prison.

I began to understand that the worst part of my sin was that it had gone unpunished. That next morning at school, Will approached me before the bell to tell me that he’d seen Hunter’s mom entering the principal’s office earlier and that we would surely be called in. I immediately went to Hunter and asked him how he was feeling. I apologized for “the misunderstanding” and told him that I’d felt as tricked as he had when Will and the other boys turned on him. Hunter was called out of class first to talk to Principal Delaney. I waited nervously as the minutes dragged on to class change and then to recess and then lunch. One by one, Will and Josh and Tuck were called in to see Mr. Delaney. Hunter must have spoken in favor of me because I never even had to give my account of what happened.

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One response to this post.

  1. For you JRL. Best I could do for a shout out. Maybe one day.

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