“Hey Pride,” I said.

“Hey Seth,” Pride said.

The two of us walked down a lonely hall. The tile floor was cracked and splattered with dried clumps of gum. Smoke wafted out of the girl’s bathroom as teenagers stood huddled in a stall, dumping their ashes on the toilet seats. The echoes of a security guard yelling at two boys caught in a brawl reverberated off the walls around us. The sun had begun to set.

I shook a full can of crimson spray paint.

“Wanna paint?” I asked.

“Nah, I’m good,” Pride replied.

The heavy can fell to the floor with a clang. I heard a few students giggle as they pulled up the old tiles on the hallway behind me and set down shiny, scarless ones.

I pulled a pack of cigarettes, wrapped in glossy plastic, from my pocket.

“Wanna smoke?” I asked.

“Nah, I’m good,” Pride replied.

The stoges slid out of my hand. Two girls strode into the bathroom, one holding a mop and the other a paper towel and spray bottle. A sweet pine smell whispered to my nostrils as I passed.

I pulled a cold bottle of beer out of my backpack, condensation dripped from the bottom.

“Wanna sip?” I asked.

“Nah, I’m good,” Pride replied.

I dropped the booze in a trashcan. Two guys, one with a raccoon ring around his eye and the other with a busted lip and a dripping red line across his cheek, strode down the hall, heading to the councilor.

I walked past a pretty girl, hips swaying and her lips arched in a charming smile.

“Wanna screw?” I asked.

“Nah, I’m good,” Pride replied.

We passed the girl and I saw a security guard clasp a young man on the shoulder, both wore dimpled grins.

I stopped walking and turned to face the open doorway of a classroom.

“Wanna go to class?” I asked.

“Yea,” Pride nodded, “Sounds like a good idea.”

I smiled and as I walked into the classroom, out a window, I saw the sun had begun to rise.