Your son's antics, he said as the afternoon reddening sun reflected through the window off his own near-waxed smooth and lightbulb-curved-type head while his thin but hairy fingers played with his disproportionately wide and distastefully bright maroon-colored tie, is beyond our help Mrs. Ferrian, as he pays no heed to our school's policy or the most basic semblance of normal inter-human social standards, I've seen him myself and Ray I know you've seen him too and it pains me to recognize this, it pains both of us to recognize this, but there is no reproach this administration is left after today's incident except to expel your son.

Her plump face downcast at her small pink handbag cradled on her lap like a more promising child who would not disappoint her in such an embarrassing way and her white-gloved hands disconnected from the reality her eyes tried to avoid focusing, she remained mute. For his own part, he felt ashamed for her to hear such calumnies and lies against the product of her labors but totally bound from explaining himself to her much less the imperceptive and life-drained administrators who read from memory made-up sins, both active and omittory, and discussing his final act , that act independent of whatever motivations were speculated in the cramped faux-wood-paneled intimidoreum, but he made uncomfortable eye-contact with Ray, standing, shirtsleeves up and wishing between days and nights he was a younger man and translating that passing unobtainable memory-turned-goal into such subtle clothing modifications. His eyes (all straight fury of unspoken glories and selfless self-destruction) attacking Ray's eyes (trying to flicker and recede into a youth he otherwise tried to thwart in his present and future daytimes out of a jealousy for what his past had ill-spent) under trimmed eyebrows, under long but managed and conservative hair. Ray made a noise which may or may not have been a grunt, turning his head to retreat from a wordless battle he knew he could not win, counting wood-lines in the floor tiles.

I would not normally do this, but under these extraordinary circumstances, which well behoove us to recall the virtue of charity, Christian charity, Catholic charity, I will allow you to withdraw your son, so his record is not completely blighted, and he has a chance, albeit elsewhere, to redeem himself, for himself, for you, and he continued on and kept twiddling his fingers with his disgusting tie between his ring fingers, hands resting on his chest just above a massive pot-belly, made especially pronounced by his striped shirt which must have shrunk since he purchased it, though his sagging upper-arms still had room enough in their short-sleeves.

That is what we will do, she said. They made arrangements, Ray occasionally commenting on the antiquity of the dot-matrix which had produced the documentation presided over at the desk like a treaty between weary nations ending belligerency, and he could not bring himself to look at the three of them at that desk, he could not even resume his intentionally unnerving and awkward eye-contact with Ray, instead choosing to think of a cliché field in Spain where he might have run in amorous intoxication with the girl from his home room, the one who sat at the front of his row, how sorry he felt that he may never see her again, even a physical pain stabbing his body from the inside out to his fingertips and ribs. Amanda Orris, Amanda Washington Orris, he repeated in his head some seven times, in that fashion, first and last, then first and middle and last, thinking of her as some descendent of George Washington for her stately features, thinking of how the heroic deeds of the hitherto unparalleled a man George Washington would pale beside the beauty of Amanda Orris, how Washington's prayer at Valley Forge appeared as nothing to her inherent control of natural elements.

William, you must sign and initial these papers. He walked over to the table from his outpost on an uncomfortable green leather-padded dark wood chair that did not fit the room's shade and fulfilled the bald administrator's instructions. Sign here, here, and over here, you need to write today's date next to that, it's the eighteenth, good, and initial here, yes, and down here, good, and beside this. All right, you are free to leave as soon as you collect your personal affects from your locker. You needn't retrieve them yourself, your homeroom representative has been tasked with the chore, she should arrive shortly.

An unexpected development, as his homeroom representative was Amanda Orris, Amanda Washington Orris. Immediately he began to perspire, trying to slide his right hand into its rightful pants pocket only to miss by two fingers, then fidgeted the rest in, more weakness than the administrators had seen for the past seven months. Images from second period of the back of her neck in its glowing ivory splendor supporting the root of her angelic golden follicles blurred what he saw in the present as his eyes had been overlayed by a thin black mist. How he could suffer waiting for her arrival any longer without kicking the office door off its hinges to better see her on her way he could not begin to fathom, his restraint knowing no higher limit than what it had just now reached. His right hand balled into a fist within his pants pocket. This may be the last time he saw the woman he knew as The Most Beautiful, and he could not stand any longer, but he managed to keep himself standing by sheer will, almost unable to breath but still breathing only to see her again, absorb the pure aura her body emitted like a new and benevolent radioactivity, an anticancerous ecstasy which he had not known before he first encountered her seven months ago, which he tried to savor every day he entered the wretched place, that place forsaken but for Amanda Orris. Amanda Washington Orris. She stood in the doorway, centuries may have passed since the time she had opened it, he saw the door open only near the time she had finished pushing it open, the first part of her operation passing into his mythology, spirits and specters not seen since Greece and Rome assisting in her pageantry. Her face expressionless for him, as always, but like a cherub of Rafael Sanzio, beneath a sweeping swath of gold, the rest of her hair put up and arranged in a way that recalled Helen of Troy, what Helen of Troy must have looked like, and her petit body braced against the Earth, that lowly place she condescended to peruse in form divine, she carried an open cardboard crate under her left arm, which if it had not carried his own belongings might have held some box of her invention to right Pandora's mistake, to sanctify the world and make it new, and her right hand went to center the crate so that she would hold it with both hands, and he made to say something to her, saying her name, that unspeakable holy name, which summoned to him all joy he had experienced in life and all joys which were yet to come, half-way through his audio perception dropping so that he had difficulty hearing what he said, he started to thank her for bringing down his locker's contents, she quickly extending the box for him to grab, when he slowly raised his hands to accept her generous and mystical token of unknown care and benignity his right hand brushed her left hand, and that black mist which had overlayed his eyes became as a sandstorm, swirling up, black and light khaki particles blowing in a tornado formation past his eyes, his audio perception totally annihilated, slowly but he knew in a very fast way his body sank to the floor, the crate lost in the space of the room, nothingness, save only Amanda Orris, Amanda Washington Orris, on whose suede-like smooth shoes his numbing face must now for this shortest moment rest.