Lonnie walked into the schoolroom trying to look as if everything was all right. His heart beat like a huge drum. It pounded so hard he thought it might jump out of his chest. This had to be the worst day of his life. He looked around for Bodie. He didn’t see him anywhere.
“He better get here soon,” Lonnie muttered under his breath. “He better not skip school today.”
Lonnie knew he had to see Bodie before math class started, and he hoped things could be worked out all right. He scooted into his seat just as Bodie came through the door. Bodie saw him and headed in his direction. Lonnie felt like every eye was watching him.
Bodie brushed against him and slipped him the comic book. “Don’t forget to put it back where you got it,” he whispered, grinning down at Lonnie.
Lonnie slid the book into his desk and looked anxiously around to see if anyone had noticed. He ducked his head and pretended to be busy until Bodie sat down.
At last recess Lonnie hid in the bathroom, waiting until the principal, Mr. Hendson, left his office. When he saw him walking toward the gym, Lonnie entered Mr. Hendson office. He quickly opened his desk drawer and slid the comic book inside. He closed the drawer and started to go, then stopped. He knew he had to face what he had done. He sat quietly and waited for Mr. Hendson to return. His hands shook and his mouth was dry. He wished Mr. Hendson would hurry and come back.
Soon the office door opened and Mr. Hendson stopped in the doorway. “What are you doing here? I hope you’re not in trouble Lonnie.”
“Yes Sir, I am.” Lonnie’s voice shook as he spoke. “I’m sorry, but I borrowed your classic comic book from your desk drawer without permission. I saw it one day when I came to see you. I wanted to look at the book, but I was afraid you wouldn’t let me take it home. I came in and took it at the last recess on Friday. When I finished with it, I loaned it to Bodie so he could look at it.”
As Lonnie spoke, Mr. Hendson walked hurriedly over and opened the desk drawer. He removed the comic book and looked at it to see if it was damaged. He lay the book on his desk and turned to Lonnie.
“Lonnie I’m surprised that you would do something like this.” Mr. Hendson’s eyebrows pulled together in a puzzled frown, Lonnie noticed a tone of sadness in his voice. “You were right in assuming I would not allow you to take the book to your home, for it is very special to me. This is a sports comic book and is a special edition. It has sentimental value because a dear friend signed it and gave it to me.”
Lonnie’s eyes filled with tears, “I’m sorry Mr. Hendson. We were careful not to tear it or get it dirty. I didn’t know it was so special to you. I shouldn’t have taken it without your permission. I promise I’ll never do anything like that again. I felt so bad about taking it I had to tell you.”
“I’m glad you did. It would have been on your mind and bothered you. You are not a thief, and it’s good that you waited here for me. I believe you when you say you’re sorry and you’ve learned a lesson from your actions. This lesson you have learned today will help you all through your life. It took courage to face me and tell me what you did. I’m proud that you were honest enough and brave enough to do that.”
“This has had an effect on Bodie though,” Mr. Hendson continued. “You’ll need to talk to him about how you feel about taking something that didn’t belong to you, without the owner’s permission.”
Mr. Hendson walked around the desk and put his hand on Lonnie’s shoulder. Lonnie stood up and they walked to the door.
“You’ll probably want to talk to the Lord about this; it’ll make you feel better.” Mr. Hendson patted Lonnie’s shoulder. “He loves you, you know? He doesn’t stop loving us when we make a mistake. Always remember that, It’s very important.”
“Thank you Sir. I’ve already talked to the Lord and asked him to forgive me. I’ll talk to Bodie too. I better go now or I’ll be late.”
Lonnie hurried down the hall toward his schoolroom. He actually looked forward to talking to Bodie about his talk with the principle. One thing for sure, he was glad he’d told Mr. Hendson about what he’d done.