Color Me Angry

Illustration by Jennifer Kalis

Valerie slumped in her chair. She stared at her sparkly, pink shoes.

“So, Valerie,” Principal Walker said. “Can you tell me why you’re here?”

Valerie thought about rolling her eyes. She thought about stomping her feet and yelling. She thought about running out the door and never coming back.

Instead, she said, “Because I pulled Taiya’s hair.”

“Well, yes. But why are you in my office?” Principal Walker raised his eyebrows.

“Because it’s my third warning.” Valerie wished Dad was here already so they could go home. She knew Dad would be super mad. He probably wouldn’t let her play video games ever again. But it was better than being stuck here.

“Yes. And what does that mean, Valerie?”

“That I messed up too many times, okay?” Valerie yelled. “But it’s not my fault! Taiya was being mean to me. She said I couldn’t play with the girls because I act like a boy. But I don’t! I even made my dad buy me these dumb pink shoes to prove it!”

Principal Walker sighed and rubbed his head.

“Valerie, I understand how you feel. But even if someone’s being mean, it’s never okay to hit her or pull her hair, okay?”

“Yeah, I know,” Valerie said quietly. “I’m sorry.”

“Well, that’s a good start. I’d like to have you bring a letter to Taiya tomorrow that says you’re sorry, okay? I’ll tell your dad when he gets here, too.”

“Okay,” Valerie whispered.

“Good. You can wait on the bench in the hallway,” Principle Walker said, opening the door.

Dad came and went into the principal’s office a few minutes later. Valerie could tell he was mad. She counted to ten over and over until he came back out again. This time, he just looked tired.

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Read the rest of the story in your February issue of Sparkle!