Chapter 3

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Thirty minutes into detection, Mrs. Hennessy spoke.  "Kyle, you can go."

"What about Jason?"

"Since he was the main instigator, he gets to stay."  Both boys looked disappointed.

"Dude," Jason said softly lest he further incurred the teacher's wrath, "can you go by my house and pick up my playbook.  Mr. Brooks is going to be mad enough that I'm late for practice.

"Are you going to let me drive your truck?"

Jason leaned back with a smile.  "You know better than that.  Nobody drives..."

"...your truck," Kyle finished.  "Yeah, I know."

"You live three blocks from here.  You can go get your cockroach."  Kyle frowned when Jason called his car that.  It was a 1966 Volkswagen Beetle.  It wasn't as fancy as his pickup, but it ran.  Most of the time. Besides, like the song goes.  There ain't nothing wrong with the radio.  Jason didn't like it because it wasn't flashy like his ride.

"Okay, but you owe me one."

Julie and Lily caught only part of the conversation, focusing on the problems they were working on.  Thanks to her friend's guidance, Julie thought she was beginning to understand this stuff.  It was like a switch had been thrown in her brain.  She glanced up as Kyle strolled from the room.

"Jason, can I speak with you?" Mrs. Hennessy asked a few minutes later, though it wasn't really a question.  The handsome jock got up and moved to her desk.

"Yes, ma'am?" he answered.

"Do you like, Julie?"

"What's that supposed to mean?"

"Simple question.  Do you like her?  The truth."

He thought for a moment.  "No."

"I think you do."

"That rich bi...." he caught himself from finishing his description.  He wanted to laugh at the idea.

"Then why do you keep tormenting her.  I thought only five year olds picked on girls they liked."

"She is a stuck up, arrogant, rich kid."

"Then perhaps it's just jealously."

"Of her?  I don't think so."

"Then I suggest you stop bothering her.  I had a talk with some of your other teachers.  They said you are barely passing their classes.  The issue has also been brought up with Mr. Brooks."  Unless you get your grades up, you are going to be academically disqualified from playing football.  We are trying to help you, but antics like today make it hard to justify.  You need to start acting like you're seventeen, not seven.  Focus on your classes and stop harassing Julie.  Or you may be home on Friday night instead of being on the field.  Do I make myself clear?"

"Yes, ma'am." Jason lowered his head as if embarrassed.  He knew it was an idle threat.  They would never bench him over grades.  Without him the team would lose.

"Fine then.  You can go." Jason started to head back to his desk for his jacket and books.  Mrs. Hennessy called to him.  "You can't Mr. Brooks to have a talk with you after your practice."

Jason nodded as he gathered up his stuff.  He started to head toward the door, taking the opportunity to give Julie a dirty look.  This was all her fault.

Mrs. Hennessy waited another five minutes before releasing her final to students.

"I'm sorry, Julie.  I'm afraid I used you to try and get a point across to Jason.  He's getting too big for his britches.  I don't think he'll bother you again."

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