The door to his left was shut. On the door hung a plastic sign that said “Principal Atwood.” On his right two middle aged women were filing papers behind a fake wood and orange counter top. “Overridge Elementary School” was printed in gold letters across the wood paneling behind them. Occasionally they’d look up at him with sympathetic eyes and Phillip would quickly look back to the ground. He sat there swinging his feet back and forth examining the floor some more. He noticed that every three tiles down and to the right were identical. Apparently there were three more tiles in the set that could fit across the room Phillip thought to himself. As he was thinking about this the door to his left suddenly opened.
“Phillip, come on in.” Phillip got off the chair and walked past the Principal into his office. “Take a seat.” Phillip climbed up onto the green vinyl chair as the Principal sat behind his desk. Reconsidering, he came around the desk and leaned on it in front of the boy. He fished a paper out of the pile on his desk.
“Phillip, do you know why you’re down here?” He asked. Phillip shook his head. “Did you do this?” Mr. Atwood handed him a paper. The paper had about fifty multiplication problems in ten neat rows. Under about half the problems were the answers scrawled in purple crayon. Phillip looked at the paper and nodded as he handed it back. “Why did you do this in crayon?” Phillip shrugged. “Phillip, I asked you a question. Why did you do your homework in crayon?”
“I dunno.” Phillip whispered through the lump in his throat. He felt tears fighting their way to the surface and he tensed his jaw muscles to hold them back.