Actually, it was more like, “DOOF NERRR”. He kind of stretched-out like that so I knew it meant trouble.
“If you are trying to get my attention, you have succeeded.”
I recognized the voice without turning around. Okay, I was being dumb. But, come on, sometimes we all do dumb things when there is a cute girl around. Did I say “cute”? I didn’t mean “cute”. I’m not interested in girls at all. NOT AT ALL! It’s just that, well, you know.
“You know that is not how we behave,” Mr. Canberry said. “I guess I may need to remind you of the rules around here.”
And it’s not like I thought Mary Beth O’Malley was cute or anything. I don’t have the least bit of interest in girls; especially Mary Beth O’Malley. I mean, yeah, she sat next to me in class and smiled at me sometimes, but that doesn’t mean anything. She’s friendly; that’s all. It doesn’t mean that I—
“Mr. Dufner! Are you listening to me?”
The voice. It was Mr. Canberry. Principal Canberry. He actually had more than one voice. Sometimes he had a friendly voice, like when he stood by the door and fist-bumped us when we got to school in the mornings. Sometimes he had a sad voice, like when he was trying to make us feel better after something bad happened. But this was his Principal Voice, the ONE voice everyone in the entire school building never wanted to hear. Heck, even the teachers got a weird look on their faces when they heard that voice.
“Mr. Dufner, I think you and I need to have a little talk.”
Not the TALK!
“Detention, Mr. Dufner. My office, after school.”
“And you too, Mr. Phillips.”
And he was gone.
I looked at Wally Phillips, my best buddy, and he looked at me. We were dead meat and we knew it.
And so did everyone else standing around in the hallway staring at us. They were all really quiet and had that look on their faces; the look that said they were sorry we got in trouble but at the same time they were really happy that it was us instead of them.
Everyone except Denton Vargas.
Denton Vargas; the meanest, toughest, nastiest, overall lousiest kid in our class. Heck, in the entire school probably. I knew kids three or four years older than us who ducked behind something when they saw Denton Vargas walking down the hall toward them. And now, the only person in the hall that didn’t have that look on their face was Denton Vargas.
He was smiling. And it was that evil smile that only Denton Vargas knew how to smile. It was a smile that said, “HAH. I’m usually the one who gets a detention and now it’s you. How does it feel, Doofus?”
He always called me Doofus. When he called me anything, I mean. He usually didn’t talk to me. He might sit there and stare at me sometimes and make me really nervous. He might laugh at me once in a while when he tried to trip me, or pushed my pencil off my desk, or made me drop my books. The only time he actually talked to me was when he would tell me he was going to catch me after school and rip my arms off or something like that. That’s when he called me Doofus.
I looked at Wally. Wally looked at me.
I looked at Mary Beth O’Malley. She smiled.
I got my books, went to my class and sat in my seat.
Denton Vargas walked by and pushed my pencil off my desk.
“Doofus!” he said.