Sixth period was the one time of day when Jake could actually get away from Matt and his crew. Seniors had the privilege of going off campus for lunch and any underclassmen who held a 3.5 GPA or higher also had the privilege of going off campus. Unfortunately for Jake, Matt and his crew were let off their leashes, free to roam around the vicinity of their city to feed themselves. But Jake was smart. Anyone who ever went off campus to eat all either went to a fast food joint, or if they were willing to push their time limits, the local dinner. Never did anyone ever go to eat where Jake went to eat.
The tall iron fences were unlocked and opened wide for the day's visitors. There weren't many people there, just a few caretakers and Mr. Collette visiting his wife of 51 years like he did every day. Jake smiled at the man who didn't even know he was there because he too busy talking to his beloved six feet under. He started at him for a few moments wondering if he'd be doing the same thing in his old age. When Mr. Collette pulled out his rosary beads and began praying at the foot of his wife's grave, Jake walked away and stopped at a few graves down.
"Hey, Mom," he said lowering himself down onto the ground at the foot of the grave that read, "Marissa C. Jaeger. Beloved mother and wife." Jake smiled at the headstone, his eyes sparkling with a child's love for their mother as he gazed upon the picture of the two angels engraved onto the smooth piece of stone. Marissa always loved angels from the time she was a little girl.
Jake opened up the paper bag he was holding and grabbed his sandwich. He held it up to the grave and said, "Peanut butter, your favorite…mine too, I guess. Dad always a sandwich like this is nothing without the jelly and slices of banana…strawberry jelly…" Jake sighed and rolled his eyes. "What's with Dad and strawberry jelly anyway? He must have been the only kid on the planet who said, 'I want a PB&SJ sandwich!' Course I know what you'd say, 'It's the different things in life that go down in history,' right?"
A slow and gentle breeze went by, the pinwheel that was sitting in the grave next to Marissa's began spinning and shined brightly as the rays from the sun hit it, and the family who stuck the wind chimes on the pole two graves across from Marissa's chimed with a pleasant ringing sound.
"Dad still has your red stoned angel wind chimes sitting in the window of the kitchen. Sometimes my hand brushes against the chimes when Dad's not home." Jake shrugged. "Got an A on my oral report for English class. But that didn't come without a blow to the head and a couple of kicks to the ribs and stomach… Dad just keeps shrugging it off. Says they'll be gone soon, off to some carwash or fast food joint flipping burgers or scrubbing windows for the rest of their lives. It's easy for him to say, he doesn't have to put up with Matt and his lackeys."
Another gust of wind went by, but this time it was slightly stronger. The pinwheel spun around and shined against the sun again and the wind chimes chimed once more. Jake also noticed that the miniature version of the American flag that had been stuck in the fire fighter's grave one row up from Marissa's had blown slightly in the breeze with liberty and justice for all. Jake wondered where was the liberty and justice for those who were constantly living under the pain and humiliation of being someone else's personal punching bag.
"Everybody at school knows how bad it is. I'm not the only one who's being shoved and tripped and tortured. But nobody gives a damn. Teachers all say take it up with the principle, and the principle just says the same thing over and over again. 'I don't have time for this, go work it out in peer mediation or with your counselor.'" Jake looked aside, gazing and staring at nothing in particular. "Whatever, it's just a few more years before I can actually go to a school with people who won't punch me in the gut every day. Just a few more years…"