Pauly set it on the counter and turned to sit down again.
“Put it in the trash please,” Ms. Shyvly snapped. Pauly grabbed the penny and shoved it in his pocket. It’d be wrong to throw such a cool looking penny in the trash, he thought, plopping back down on the bench. Just then Principal Borden’s door opened and out came Shari. She smiled weakly and then rushed away. “Witty!” yelled Principal Borden’s voice from the office.
Pauly took a seat in the lone chair in front of Principal Borden’s sprawling desk. A wall of windows made the room bright but a mist of dust seemed to be hanging in the air. As Pauly glanced around he noticed piles of papers and books stacked everywhere, except the computer area Principal Borden was setting in front of.
“I…” was all Pauly got out before Principal Borden silenced him with a glowering stare and shake of the head, but then instantly returned to staring at his computer screen.
Pauly was dozing off when Principal Borden finally broke the silence.
“Well, what do you have to say for yourself?” he asked, not looking at Pauly. Pauly sat straight up, shaking off the sleepiness that made this all seem like a weird dream.
“Shari just loaned me her book after she finished. We weren’t cheating!” he blurted, trying to remember what he’d planned on saying. “And, it was an open book test,” he quickly added.
Principal Borden sat in a trance in front of his computer. His hand occasional jerking the mouse back and forth. Pauly felt like he should add something else to fill the awkward silence.
“Since you have nothing to say for yourself, I’m assigning you to one week of detention, and your mother will be notified.” Principal Borden said, without even looking up from his computer once.
Pauly clenched his teeth together to keep from yelling out in frustration.
“What do you mean ‘don’t have anything to say for myself,’ I’m the only one who’s been talking here.”
“Mind your tone Mr. Witty or it will be two weeks of detention,” Borden said, finally turning to him. “Now, back to class, and close the door quietly as you leave.”