While we walked the 5 blocks to the library, I got a text message.
Addie: Hey, haven't heard from you in a while. Call me?
I looked around to the three guys and four cheerleaders behind us.
I ignored the text, for now.
"So what are we doing here?" I asked as Blayne took off his backpack.
"Tagging our territory." He shook a can of black spray paint.
"What do you mean 'territory'? This isn't like our table at lunch or our lockers. Or even a hallway. This is a public building. It's against the law!" I looked at Blayne.
Zach and Cory rolled their eyes.
"I knew that guy wasn't hard enough to be in our gang." Cory took a can himself.
"Yeah, what a pussy." Zach added.
The cheerleaders giggled and Katie wrapped her arms around Blayne.
"I'm so glad you're not a pussy, baby." She made out with him. It looked like his whole tongue was down her throat. It wouldn't be hard to fit, I promise.
I grabbed my jacket from the sidewalk and turned to leave when I heard an engine turn off behind us. A car door slammed.
"It's a pig, let's go!" Blayne ran with the cans and his open backpack and hopped over a chain link fence with Katie, Zach, and Cory. The other cheerleaders sprinted off in different directions.
I stayed put, I wasn't a good runner.
"What are you kids doing out here this late?" He shined a flashlight over on the library wall.
"It was a rhetorical question son. Get up against my car."
I did as he said and he placed handcuffs on my wrists.
I started to cry. "Please don't take me to jail! I'm a good student, well, I'm average! But I can name all 50 states in alphabetical order, wanna hear? Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas-"
"Boy, be quiet. Where do you live?"
"Across the street, sir. In that white house." I sniffled.
He put me in the back of his car and we parked in front of my house.
The police officer got out and walked to my front door, beating three times.
A light fled out into the dark, but I couldn't see who answered the door.
The door closed and the officer and one of my parents walked to the back of the car where I was.
When he opened the door, I realized my mom had been crying.
"Where were you, Noah? I've been worried. I got up around 11 to check on you and you were gone!"
"Son, tell your mom where you've been."
I swallowed and looked down at my shoes. I didn't want to tell my mom where I had been or who I had been hanging out with.
"He was over at the library with a group of boys and girls. All of the boys were wearing identical colors, which leads me to believe they are in a gang. I caught them spray painting the library wall. Your son was not participating in the tagging and he did not run when I approached the group. I am letting him off with a warning."
My mom was absorbing his words like she was a sponge.
"Stand up." He looked at me.
I stood up, and he turned me around and took the handcuffs off.
"Thank you, officer." My mom gave him a hug and I walked up the familiar cracked pavement to my front door.