Thinking hard always makes me tired, and reflecting on my past was no exception. I guess I dozed off during my musings, because I woke up at 6:26. According to my schedule, dinner for freshmen began at 6:45, so I decided to change into my uniform before going to dinner. The pants were starchy and uncomfortable, the shirt was no better, and the vest was the color of rotting blueberries. I took a tentative whiff of the underarm - it smelled like Hove Beach back home. Except, as I thought nostalgically, the vest won't pull a knife and tell you to give it all your money and vodka. I thought about wearing the school-issue shoes - dorky brown dress shoes - but decided against it. After all, the first part of rule-breaking is breaking rules, right? I walked out of my room, and decided to get a soda from the machine in the rec room. It seemed to be the most high-tech thing in the room, as the TV was broken, with some nerd poking around the back of it - as I watched, a shower of sparks shot out of it and set his greasy hair on fire. Another one, sitting on the couch, shook his soda at his friend, dousing both him and the TV. So much for TV to keep my mind off things, I guess. There was also an arcade machine that was probably there when the school was built, and looked like it could use a new coat of paint, a cleaning, and probably a good tune-up. I put some money in the slot, pressed the button, and waited for a can of Sprunk to roll down. Predictably, it didn't. So I used the one good thing the Jerk taught me; how to solve problems when nothing else works. I punched the machine as hard as I could, denting both the metal and my knuckles at the same time. Although my eyes watered from the pain, I heard the satisfying clunk of the soda entering the world. "Hey," sputtered one of the nerds, in a voice that indicated he was trying not to talk and spit, "You're not thposed to be doing thhat!" "Really." I said, in my best Jack Howitzer I'm-going-kill-you-and-your-entire-extended-family voice. "Yeah! We all use thhat thoda mathine!" "Do you use your south end?" "Wha?" "Because if you keep talking, I'm going to finish the job of cracking it!" The nerd muttered something about "eating thit" and turned away. I picked up my soda and popped the tab, tasting the lovely taste of things to come. After draining the can, I jogged out the door into the cool autumn air, hopped down the stairs, and continued on to the courtyard. There were other kids, boys and girls alike heading to the main building, so I followed them for my dinner. None of the girls acknowledged me or walked away from me, so I reminded myself to thank that Jimmy kid. Walking into the cafeteria, I recalled that I had had good cafeteria food and I had had bad cafeteria food in my schooling; I coud tell what kind of food it was going to be just by walking into the cafeteria; the kind that bad cafeteria food grows on. After eating a few bites of what seemed to be some kind of beef stew, I saw it moving. I poked it with my fork, and I swear to you, it growled. This practically turned me into a vegetarian, but I could guess what the vegetables here would be like - probably still had the soil on them. At least they couldn't ruin milk, though. I dumped what remained of the stew into the garbage, and made a mental note never to look into that trash can, because it would probably grab me and pull me in. As I walked out of the cafeteria, my stomach full of nutritious air, I heard a voice growl in a way that I had heard too often in the past few months. "Come here, new guy. We have an initiation for shits like you." My shoulders were grabbed and twisted behind my back. I fought back, but they just twisted my arms harder. I was dragged through the hall, around a corner, and into a bathroom - a GIRL'S bathroom. Just what this day needed, I thought miserably. I was shoved against the wall, and I finally got a good look at my assailants; a blond guy with bad acne, a ginger with worse, and a creepy-looking guy with raven hair and a scar over his eye. The pimply duo who had been dragging me took my shoulders once again, and forced me into a stall, which smelled of, well - what bathrooms smelled of. They bent me down toward the toilet, the water seeming to swirl, waiting to suck me in. My face inches from the water, I heard their leader sneer "Welcome to Bullworth, loser!".

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