Mrs. Peters had on a look of pure unmistakable disgust. Maybe just like the rest of them his presence didn't really sit well with her because today she didn't bother answering anyone's greeting or even opening her usually red-painted lips to tell a story of a time when she was disciplined at school too.
Jasmine noticed then that she almost didn't look herself with her hair clipped to the back, she always had her hair down, minimal make-up and her famous red lipstick but her lips weren't red today just glossy and she had on a green sweater, the rest of her body was hidden behind the desk.
Immediately the last person--a girl who had a sheepish smile as though she was mocking them, they could almost hear her whisper wouldn't wanna be you--walked out, the door to the principal's office opened.
"You. The one with the buzz cut." Principal Derek said.
Neither Leto nor Kayla said anything to her or to each other as she got up. Jasmine noticed then that the knees of her jeans were incredibly dusty so were her shoes. He waited for her to enter before closing the door, gently this time.
Kayla and Leto placed their heads against the wall of the office, hoping to catch a word or two. Mrs. Peters thankfully didn't say anything as she focused on the book she was reading, Alive but Lost. Leto was able to make out the front cover, it had the cover of a missing girl's picture stuck to a tree.
"Miss..." He trailed on, waiting for Jasmine to fill him in on her name. She just sat there, staring at the wall behind him.
"Oh, cut the crap. You're just going to make it harder on yourself." He said.
Nothing, no crease of eyebrows, no grunt, nothing. She just sat still. He got up and slammed his hand down on the desk. Kayla and Leto looked at each other then. But Jasmine still didn't move or speak.
"I see you've been a naughty teenager hence the electronic tagging. Now tell me, what did you do?" Principal Derek asked.
After a moment's pause. Jasmine broke the fierce eye contact she was having with the wall and turned it on him. Her brown eyes probing him.
"Now Derek. Let me tell you something." Jasmine said. He looked taken aback and was about to say something when she continued.
"Hypothetically, you have two children. A teenager and a little boy who isn't a little over thirteen. A boy that your daughter would kill to protect. One day, she does something that tears her away from him and you for a while and when she returns the stigma is there, she can feel it but she tries to ignore it." Jasmine paused, taking a deep breath.
"Life at school had become a mess after what happened to her. He was having a really hard time, no friends. Just him and the stupid ass motherfuckers who picked on him. One day, he gets all excited after speaking to a girl he'd had a crush on for a long time and she agreed to have lunch with him under the tree."
Principal Derek was about to interrupt her. The Jasmine before juvy would never have been able to talk back at an elder. She wouldn't even get into trouble in the first place but now, she felt so lost. Lost to the point where she felt like she was blindly navigating down the path of her life.
"Let me finish. Then the next morning, even before anyone else had woken up. He was already up and dressed, ready for his 'date'. With your help, he made nice sandwiches for their lunch." Jasmine laughed drily. The anger slowly rising again. She flexed her fingers, open, close, open. Principal Derek relaxed his back against his chair and listened.