Good Intentions and Difficult Lessons

Ronald tried to be invisible because today was important and that had to stay a secret. Today was his birthday and he didn’t want anyone to know. It wasn’t because he was a shy, though that was true. It was because of Ty and Joey. They were birthday-ruiners.

It was hard to keep his eye on both of them, they had been separated months ago and were now on opposite sides of the classroom. Joey was the bigger problem. Lean and cruel, he was the brains. He devised clever ways to hurt kids and he always got away with it. Ty was big and dumb and took the blame for Joey’s plans when teachers found out. He had already been held back. Twice.

So far they hadn’t looked at him today. He might make it.

Mrs. Hamilton turned away from the black board and looked at the clock.

“Since it’s almost time for lunch, we’ll stop there. Now we have a special birthday today. Ronald come up here. Don’t be shy.”

She forced the class to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ while Ronald watched Joey and Ty exchange knowing glances.

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