Ain't No Easy Way Out


Brandon Middle School, Virginia Beach, Virginia…

Kim lay almost prostrate on the sidewalk; her arms akimbo and her books lying in the gutter in a muddy, leaf-filled puddle. Water streamed down her face, but as much as her tears flowed, it was more from the steady rain falling on her. She lifted herself up on her left elbow, wincing. In a moment she was sitting on the sidewalk, leaning forward with the same elbow on her knees.

Two boys stood just off the sidewalk in the driveway by the entrance of the school. They laughed, looking for support from the other kids. No one laughed along with them, leaving the boys only a bit disappointed, since the girl’s tears were enough to satisfy their middle-school ‘blood lust.’

The taller of the two motioned toward Kim with a shake of his head and the other boy walked and leaned over the girl, extending his hand to offer a help up. She reached out and he slapped her arm hard enough to evoke a second wince. Ignoring her pain, he turned to his partner-in-crime and chortled; failing to see a delicate looking hand grab his.

“Owwwwww!” the boy screamed as Kim’s nails dug into his wrist. She pulled him down and punched him once in the face, leaving his nose bloody and pushed a bit sideways. The other boy took one step toward the girl but felt a firm hand grip his shoulder. Spinning around, he came face to face with a very stern looking woman.

“I think it might be prudent for you to stay put, don’t you, Mr. Brunetti?”

“Aw …we …we were only having fun,” he protested. The other boy jumped up and ran…or rather…walked slowly to her.

“Did you see what she did to me?”

“Yes I did, Joey….Yes I did.” She grinned and looked up, enjoying the rain .

“Whatya gonna do about it?”

“I suppose I can accompany you and your colleague here to the nurse’s office and then perhaps a stroll down the hallway to mine?”


“Well then, let’s just go straight to my office and write up your in-school suspension right now, shall we?” The boy looked at her with pleading eyes before resigning himself to his fate. As the two were being led away, the woman turned back to watch a couple of girls and one boy help Kim to her feet. She brushed herself off and looked over and saw the woman shaking her head with a half-frown while giving her the thumbs up before she walked the girl’s brothers through the front door and away.

Well I won't back down, no I won't back down
You could stand me up at the gates of hell
But I won't back down

Gonna stand my ground, won't be turned around
And I'll keep this world from draggin' me down
Gonna stand my ground and I won't back down

Hey baby, there ain't no easy way out
Hey I will stand my ground
And I won't back down

I Won’t Back Down
Words and music by
Jeff Lynne and Tom Petty
As performed by
Dawn Landes

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This story is 539 words long.