“Hey, you weren’t by the lockers yesterday at the end of the school day,” Angie said the morning of sixth day of school.
“I went home early,” Derek said.
“I was asking around, people said you never came back from Mrs. Chuck’s room. Isn’t she the councilor?”
“Yeah, I don’t what to sound mean or anything, but I’m ticked. Can you leave me alone for just a little while? I will talk to you at lunch, okay?”
“Actually, we have lunch with Alex, so we can’t eat together today.”
"How long are we going to play this stupid little game, Angie?”
“What game, Derek?”
"The one where we hide from your brother.”
“That’s not a game.”
“Well, then when are we going to be honest with him?”
“Soon enough. If you like me you will wait until I’m ready.”
“I just don’t want to lie any more.”
“We aren’t lying.”
“Yeah, we just aren’t telling the truth.”
Derek made his way passed Angie and walked off to his first class of the day. He wasn’t very happy with what the day had planned for him, but he got through it. He had a couple classes with Alex. Every time Derek saw Alex he just wanted to say I LIKE YOUR SISTER! but he knew that he couldn’t.
“I have chosen partners for you all to do your science projects with. First, Tracy Collins and Sarah Phillips, Jordan Spaurts and Sandra Nae, Alex Anderson and Derek Michaels, Terence Richards and Mitch Whitely…” the teacher was rudely interrupted by Alex.
“Wait! I can’t work with Derek, can I be with someone else?” Alex asked.
“Sorry, but he is who I assigned you with, so deal with it. Amanda Clark and Ally Samuels…” the teacher went on.
“Well, partner, what are we going to do?” Derek said unenthusiastically.
"Eat chocolate ice cream like my mom does when she’s depressed,” both boys began to laugh, then they looked at each other and stopped. “We can’t laugh in unison, we don’t like each other.”
“Alex I have to tell you something.”
“I really like your sister.”
Alex swung his fist at Derek, but when that didn’t work; he shoved Derek to the ground and started punching him until Derek flipped them over. Derek sat on top of Alex holding his arms down.
“Mr. Anderson, you first,” principal Oomansor said.
“Now you’re getting into fights? What are we going to do with you, Derek? And you wonder why I couldn’t raise you myself,” Darcy said as she walked up next to her brother. She sat down in the chair next to him. “Derek, please talk to me.”
"I really like her, Darcy. I think I might love her.”
“Love who? You think you love who?”
“Angie..? What’s her last name?”
“Anderson. The guy that I got in a fight with is her brother. Which sucks because he’s a good liar, he makes everyone believe him.”
“Well, even if you’re a bad liar, you can still be good at telling the truth.”
“He’s better at lying then I am at telling the truth.”
“Wow, he sounds really good at lying.”
“You know, Darcy, I’m sorry I said I hated you yesterday. I felt horrible after I left your office. When I went home I felt all the guilt rise up in me, I broke Aunt Kate’s favorite vase. I hid it because I was afraid, but then I realized I wasn’t with Dad, you know.”
“Well, it will take some time to get used to the changes. But all of the changes are for the better, and nothing can be worse than what you went through with Dad, so you will be fine.”
“I sure hope so. I hope Aunt Kate isn’t too mad about her vase.”
“I’m sure she won’t be.”
“Mr. Michaels, your turn,” principal Oomansor said.
“Can I talk to him for just one more minute? I will have him in there as soon as I’m done,” Darcy promised.
“Sure, why not,” the principal said.
“Okay, Derek, let’s go into my office, shall we?”
“Let’s shall,” Derek joked.
They went into her office. “Derek, I wanted you to come and live with me, but Dad insisted everything there was fine.”
"Yeah, well, it wasn’t. I let him beat me for seven years, Darcy.”
“I know that now. But then, I had no idea. You always said you fell, ran into something or got in a fight at school.”
“Dad said if I told anyone he was hurting me, then he would go to jail and I would never get to see any of my family ever again. He said that I would have to go to an orphanage or he would lie and I’d have to go to the second floor in the hospital or whatever to let them know I was kidding. He once said he would kill me, but he was drunk so I don’t think he meant it.”
“When was he not drunk, Derek?”
"I don’t remember very many times he was sober after my mom died.”
“Well, go tell the principal the truth and don’t say one lie, okay?”
“Okay, thanks for talking to me, sis. I really do love you.”
“Love you too, kid.”