Sam, Russ, and Chin are the toughest kids in school. They’re also some of the richest. As one might expect, there is a rivalry among the three of them. Siri is a small girl of means and she happens to be one of Russ’s girlfriends. Siri’s cousin, Ira, is very protective of her, as are the several other members of her family at school, despite their bitter intra-family feud over which brand of their religion is best (they’ve been fighting amongst themselves for years).
Sam has almost no interest in Siri and barely knows her. But when he discovered she was killing off brain cells by smoking crack and blowing cocaine up her nose, Sam wanted to save her because he genuinely cares about people in general. So, he boldly proclaimed at an assembly before the whole school that if Siri were to take things a step further and inject herself with chemicals, that would be a “red line” for him and he would do something to intervene. Though he didn’t say what that intervention would be, everyone assumed Sam meant he would intervene by using his immense physical strength because he isn’t necessarily persuasive with his words or his money alone.
In her unbalanced state, Siri didn’t seem to care much about Sam’s threat, so she went ahead and injected herself with chemicals that killed off some more brain cells (maybe just to test Sam or get his attention). When Sam heard that Siri was injecting herself he could hardly believe it, but he was both disgusted and moved with compassion. He wants to do something to stop her from shooting up again. Sam is conflicted over what to do because he knows Siri suffers from multiple personality disorder and he can’t be sure which of her personalities, the strongest one or the one fighting for control, is responsible for injecting the poisonous chemicals. He knows from recent experience that he can’t trust his own eyes or ears to let him know what’s really going on. He also does not know if his actions would have any positive effect.
Nevertheless, Sam decided that Siri needs to be taught a lesson, and she needs to be punished for not listening to him when he threatened to get involved. After a few days, Sam announced to the whole school that Siri needed an immediate hard spanking, after which some of her drugs, but not the chemicals for shooting up, should be taken away. He also said that other students should help him. Sam framed it as a “warning” or a “shot across the bow” to send a message that Siri should never shoot up again (he didn’t mention his bruised ego from Siri disregarding his threat). Then he waited.
Only a few kids agree with Sam but they aren’t very tough and they pledge only minor support for Sam if he administers the spanking. The rest of the student body is adamantly opposed to Sam’s spanking idea. Russ, arguably the second toughest kid in school (or at least he has that reputation), vehemently objects to Sam even touching his girlfriend, Siri.
Chin also objects to Sam’s posturing, but Chin has learned from his great-grandfather, Sun, to never broadcast his retribution plans to his adversary. Ira, on the other hand, Siri’s unstable cousin, screamed loudly that if Sam spanks Siri he will bite off Sam’s finger, or worse.
Russ, a rugged, audacious but calculating member of the chess club, announced to the whole school that he will protect Siri from Sam but didn’t say exactly what he will do. When Sam moved into position to spank Siri, Russ moved himself in between the two as a show of strength. He also brought his strong, silent friend, Chin, with him.
This flustered Sam and caused him to blink. Then he tried talking his way out of confrontation by claiming he never announced a “red line” and that it was the school’s line, but he stayed within striking distance of Siri because he didn’t want to look like a coward.
Sam remains internally conflicted because it appears there are no good solutions to the problem caused by his mouth writing a check his body can’t cash. So he continues arguing with himself, even more fervently. Without understanding the landscape, Sam made an impassioned but awkward plea to the student government for his idea to spank Siri, however, the other students weren’t buying it.
Despite his massive strength, Sam has some bipolar issues himself and rarely speaks with the same voice. Part of him thinks shooting up chemicals is so atrocious that something—anything—has to be done, as an intervention, to draw attention to and hopefully end the destructive behavior. But another part of him thinks maybe it’s none of his business, maybe administering a spanking will have the absolute opposite effect, or maybe the spanking has unforeseen consequences that could be worse for Siri, and maybe it’s not worth losing some of his own brain cells or body parts to Russ, Chin, or Ira (or any of Ira’s other extreme family members), just to do what he thinks is best for Siri. Besides, Sam might be overestimating how tough he is because Siri certainly will not just sit still for a spanking.
Sam is an excellent organizer and smooth orator but has very little experience in making decisions like this, so currently he is trying to make up his mind what to do. He plans to take a tally of his internal thoughts and feelings soon and then make a decision. Making things even more complicated, it appears Sam’s best friend, Britt, may have sold Siri the chemicals she injected into herself.
The rest of the school thinks Sam should stay out of it but Sam is worried about his reputation. What do you think Sam should do?
© Copyright 2013 Fritz Edmunds, all rights reserved.