I looked around the cafeteria. “Bad kids,” I thought as I took a sip of my soda. “end up here. Congrats, Tommy, you’re officially a ‘bad kid’.” Scowls and tattoos broke up the sea of light blue jumpsuits. I saw some guys arm wrestling and others eating in sulky silence. It looked like a scene from a movie. I never knew those were such accurate descriptions of juvie.
And, of course, my feast of peas and watery turkey was interrupted by a guy who looked like he lit kittens on fire for fun. “He new guy,” He said as he sat down and bumped me over with his elbow. “Hi.” I replied trying not to look him in the eye. My body immediately went to “survival mode” and I tried not to think about the possibility of humans being able to smell fear. He seemed to notice my apprehension. “Hey calm down, I’m not gonna take your lunch money.” He joked and elbowed me in the side. I tried to laugh but it came out more as a croak. I took another sip of soda.
“Sorry, I’m not normally this jumpy.” He shrugged and popped a pea from my tray into his mouth. “No worries.” He sent it flying to the ceiling. “I’m not the kind of guy you need to worry about. My name’s Phil. I’ve been here two months. Stick with me and I’ll show you around.”
Hmm…maybe this wouldn’t be as bad as I thought.