Getting into the gym was easy. I’d pulled an extra set of keys out of the custodians office yesterday.
Navigating the back door was a little bit trickier. It was old and loud. I let it touch silently, without actually closing it. It was an exposed entrance, but it was right next to the bleachers. I slipped under them.
On the far end, I saw two teachers, a custodian and a fireman, all hunched in the middle, like that was the normal place to assess the situation.
The fire was a trash can that charred the paint, black on the wall in little swooshes. The scale, I’m guessing, left the fireman feeling a little deflated.
I moved for a closer view. And then, the big yellow fireman moved, and I saw him.
The assistant principal.
The overhead gym lights cast shadows on his face like a devil.
I was too far away to hear what they were saying. I was about to move closer when I heard a loud click echo behind me. The kind of click that comes from a gym door shutting and then echoing through an empty gym.
I didn’t look at the noise. But I knew who it was. All five other heads snapped in Gil’s direction.
“Mr Former,” Vadner called out, his voice echoing. He walked quickly to Gil. Under the bleachers, I could see him, just standing there, frozen next to the door.
Vadner marched over to him, covering the distance in a surprisingly short amount of time. He was now standing directly over Gil.
“We found this,” he said holding up a brown sack lunch.
My brown sack lunch.
I knew I’d left that somewhere…