“Hey, Angie, I got you something,” Derek was waiting for her by her locker.
"They are beautiful, Derek,” Angie said. She almost took the flowers out of his hand until she remembered how bad Alex’s eye looked after Derek punched him. “I can’t take these.”
“But I bought them for you. Taking them is what I want you to do.”
“I can’t hang out with a big jerk like you, Derek.”
“Jerk? What did I do?”
“Alex told me everything!”
“Everything as in what?”
“Everything as in why you punched him in the eye.”
"And you think I’m the jerk?”
"Yeah, after what you did.”
“After what I did? What did he tell you exactly?”
“You hung out with different groups of people, you’re new friends didn’t like him, he tried to talk to you and you punched him.”
“Really? That’s his story now?”
"What do you mean his story now?”
"He told the principal and your parents a totally different lie.”
“Lie? This wasn’t a lie. I could tell in his face it wasn’t a lie.”
“If you didn’t know this, your brother is a very good liar. But only if he wants to be.”
"Don’t even pretend you know my brother.”
“Pretend? Me and your brother were friends for a long time.”
“Until you punched him for not being liked by your new friends.”
“That’s not what happened, Angie, you have to believe me. I wouldn’t lie to you.”
“How am I supposed to know what you will or will not do?”
“I’m sorry Derek. I know my brother is telling the truth. I just do.”
"Think what you want,” Derek broke the flowers at their stems and then threw on the floor. Then he walked down to the hall to the front office. “I don’t feel good. May I call my aunt and ask if I can go home for the day?”
"Yes, you may,” Mrs. Geetz, the secretary, said.
Derek began to dial his house phone number. He put the phone up to his ear, and heard it ring twice before his aunt answered. “Hello?” she said.
"Hey, Aunt Kate, it’s Derek. I’m not feeling so well. Do you mind if I come home early.”
“No, honey, that’s fine. Go to all of your classes and get your homework though.”
“But, Aunt Kate, I…”
"I don’t want you to get behind. Go to your classes and get your homework.”
“Okay, but if I throw up all over the classroom floors I blame you.”
“Alright, now let me talk to the secretary.”
“Okay, thanks, Aunt Kate, bye, see you in a little bit,” Derek took the phone away from his ear, “She wants to talk to you,” he put the phone out towards Mrs. Geetz. “I’m going to go get my homework.”
“Okay, Derek, go ahead.”
He first went to Mrs. Nimple’s room, then Mr. Googh’s, then Ms. Dumontal’s, and then finally he went to Mrs. Kurth’s room. When he walked in, Angie’s class was in there. He went in and said, “I’m not feeling very well and I’m, going home. I won’t be in your class later, I wanted homework.”
“Oh, yes, we are doing vanishing points. I can’t wait to see yours. You are the best student I have, Derek,” Mrs. Kurth explained. She is the art teacher.
"Okay,” Derek wrote it down in his assignment notebook.
"I hope you feel better, Derek.”
“Thanks, Mrs. Kurth.”
As soon as Derek walked out of her classroom, Angie raised her hand, “Yes, Ms. Anderson?” Mrs. Kurth called on her.
"May I go to the bathroom?” she asked.
"Make it quick.”
"Thank you,” she got up out of her desk. When she was in the hallway, she saw Derek. “Wait, Derek.” She stopped him in the hall, “Are you leaving because of me?”
"I don’t feel very well, Angie, that’s all.”
"Tell me the truth,” Angie got in front of him so he couldn’t get to the office.
"Not until you tell me why you are leaving.”
“I like you, a lot, but I would never give up my education for you.”
"Can’t we go back to the whole you can’t talk to me thing. I like that a lot better,” Derek made his way around Angie and went into the main office, signed out and left.