“So…about Jenny,” I said loud enough to end all other discussions.
Everyone was showered and just hanging out in my room. Jerry would be sleeping on my futon, while Ken and Jeremy were in the other guest bedrooms.
Silence. Jerry’s face changed from the laughing exprssion to seriousness. Ken just looked downward. Whereas Jeremy and myself just sat waiting for the big reveal.
Jerry cleared his throat first, “Well…where do you think I should begin Ken. If I don’t give enough back story it doesn’t quite make sense?”
Ken finally lifted his head, but only to ponder looking at the ceiling. It really seemed like he was attempting to make no eye contact. “Hmmm…maybe just start on the first day of school… maybe I should tell it since I was actually there. You can pick up when you came home. Deal?”
“Yep, all good,” Jerry gestured to Ken to continue.
First Day Of School
“Hey Jenny,” Ken called to Jenny who was across the yard with Brit.
Jenny and Brit came running over, “Hey Ken! How is the first day being back without George and Jerry? Are you missing them terribly,” Jenny and Brit hugged each other and pretended to be sobbing.
“Not cool. But yes. I am missing them. It’s going to be a long two years if I’m stuck with just this one,” Ken pointed at the slowly apporaching Matthew.
“Hey Jenny. Hey Brit,” Matthew called to them as he approached, “You ready for these next two years?”
“Wow…no acknowledgement for your only friend here,” Ken tried to punch Matthew but missed and toppled forward; he was sprawled on the ground because Matthew had swiftly dodged it.
Matthew started to walk away, but paused by the girls, “Do you two hear anything? No? Okay, let’s head to our classrooms.” Matthew reached over a grabbed Brit’s wrist starting to pull her along with him. Jenny followed.
“Sure just ignore me; me on the ground. I know, you know I am here, or you would not have dodged me,” Ken picked himself up and ran to catch up to his leaving gang. “No love for me. Matthew only cares about Brit I guess…” Whack! Ken almost fell to the floor again. “What do you mean by…” Ken started to say but Matthew cut him off.
“Sorry you too,” Matthew apologetically waved to Jenny and Brit, who were quite shocked by Matthew’s sudden hit, “I was swatting away a giant bug. I really do hate bugs who keep pestering me,” Matthew carefully glared in the direction of Ken without actually looking at him.
Laughter erupted from Jenny and Brit. Matthew also chuckled. Ken did begrudingly, but he did laugh more as they continued to their own homeroom classes.
“What do you know… I was hoping to see her, but I didn’t realize I would meet her on our first day,” a voice came from behind us.
Ken paused, “Why does that voice sound familiar?” Turning around, he realized why. There stood Jerk Jeremy’s two best buds. ‘What do they mean their “first day?”‘
Matthew and the girls also turned.
“So…Jenny, right? How have you been? Now that your guard dog George is gone, do you think I could, you know…” Derek, the backstroker, walked towards Jenny with a smug smirk. Before anyone could move he was next to Jenny attempting to put his arm over her shoulders.
“What’s your problem?” Matthew shoved Derek away from Jenny; he took up his spot in front of both Jenny and Brit. “Don’t touch her!”
“What’s it to you? Jeremy told us about how she is…” the other one spoke, his name was Trevor.
“Shut up,” Ken had Trevor by the collar and was ready to retaliate if need be. “That was just a stupid rumor that died the day we schooled you at that swim meet.”
Other students who were originally ignoring what was happening, had changed their plans, and were now creating a mob around our exchange. We could see phones all around us,
probably trying to capture, what was happening, as a viral video. Jenny was silent and cowering behind Matthew. Brit was somewhat stronger; she was trying to support Jenny, as Jenny was beginning to falter.
“How about this, you can date her first and then I will…THUD!” Derek was sprawled on the floor.
Matthew had done the honors. Derek wasn’t moving, but he was breathing.
Trevor threw Ken off of him, and ran over to the almost unconsious Derek, “Are you crazy!?! What’s so wrong about speaking the truth. Jeremy gave us all the facts before we switched schools. I don’t know why you are protecting her anyways.”
Matthew walked up to Trevor and squatted down to his level, “Do I need to silence you too?”
Trevor hesitated and seemed to lean away from Matthew.
“Good. Then shut up,” Matthew stood up just as Brit called…
“Help!” Jenny had collapsed into her arms; Brit was craddling the unconscious Jenny in her lap as she sat on the floor.
Both Ken and Matthew rushed to Brit.
“Give her to me,” Matthew quickly placed his backpack next to Brit and scooped up the limp Jenny, carrying her to the nurse’s office.
Brit grabbed Matthew’s backpack, and then both Ken and her ran after Matthew, weaving between the onlookers. Leaving Trevor and Derek still on the floor…