Yikes it’s Tuesday again already?! Here goes!
Seeing Mei-Li there reminded me I never read the note she had dropped on my desk at the end of English. I fished it out of my pocket and unfolded it.
“You should have seen it before I cut it!” she had written in regards to the question about her hair. She drew a little stick figure with hair wrapped around her legs and dragging on the ground. There were all sorts of things caught in it: a brush, a scooter, a cat. I laughed as I looked it over. She didn’t quite have the same artistic ability as her brother, but it was entertaining to look at.
“This is funny,” I told her. She gave me that shy smile while her brother silently fumed.
“Hey, you guys should come to the game Friday night!” Clay suddenly said, not wanting to be left out.
“Football?” Julian asked.
“Yeah. We’re pretty good too. Ian can sit with you guys and we can all hit the after party. It’ll give you a chance to get to know some more people and see what we do in this boring town for fun,” said Clay.
“I don’t know…,” Julian said looking to his sister.
“Could be fun,” she said.
“You hate sports,” he replied. She flushed.
“Only because our schools never had sports teams! I don’t know anything about them,” she argued.
“A school with no sports? What kind of school is that?” I wondered aloud.
“We have always gone to performing arts schools,” Mei-Li explained.
“Oh. That’s cool. You’re an artist too?” I asked.
“Musician,” she said. “Jules is the artist. He’s very good.” I nodded in agreement.
“From the little I’ve seen, I can see he’s got talent.” Julian ducked his head, as if the compliments bothered him.
“What do you say Jules? It’s not like we’ve got anything better to do,” she said to her brother.
“Well, I could think of worse ways to spend a Friday night then staring at tight ends,” Julian said to Clay with a wink. Clay looked momentarily taken aback. His teammates laughed it up and I watched Julian from the corner of my eye. Was he being serious? Was it possible that the new kid was more like me than I realized? Too bad he hates me…
My thoughts were interrupted when Clay nudged me.
“What?” I asked.
“You’re not eating,” he said pointing at my untouched food. Rolling my eyes I picked up the half of sandwich and shoved it in my mouth.
“Happy?” I snapped after I had successfully swallowed it without choking.
“Yes,” he replied with a smile as he handed me the apple. I grabbed it from his hand and bit into it. It made a loud satisfying crunch sound.
Mei-Li and Julian gave us identical weird looks.
“Ian doesn’t like to eat,” Clay explained.
“I like eating just fine,” I countered. “I just don’t like eating a lot.” The twins looked at each other, puzzled, before looking back at us.
“He has to stay in his weight class,” Clay said, “and he thought he could do that by starving himself.”
A red cloud of anger hovered in front of my eyes as I slammed my hand down on the table.
“Enough!” I said, embarrassed that Julian knew one of my secrets. Grabbing my bag I stood up to leave.
“Hey Ian, don’t go!” Clay said grabbing my bag. I gave him a withering look and he dropped my bag and his head.
“I’ve got to see the coach,” I said as an excuse before nodding to Mei-Li. I couldn’t meet Julian’s gaze.
I left the cafeteria behind and headed for a bathroom. After a quick check to make sure no one else was in there, I entered an empty stall where I performed my other dirty little secret. The one no one could ever find out about. The one that they made After School TV Specials about. The one that involved the second coming of my lunch.