Chapter 4

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The picture is of Jerry.

Chapter 4

       I hadn't talked to Mary since she got mad at me during Jerry's boxing match. Honestly, I didn't really care. Jerry was yelling at an eight year old boy and even made him cry. Even if I didn't know the boy, I would have stopped Jerry from yelling.

       Laughlin, for some reason, wasn't in the history class we have together, but he showed up for the next class we had.

       Laughlin sat down beside me since Mary decided to sit in the front of the class instead. Man, she was really mad at me. Jokes on her because he sitting in the front of the class caused Laughlin to sit beside me, where Mary usually sat.

       "Where were you in first period?" I asked Laughlin as our teacher handed out a booklet.

       "Somewhere," Laughlin replied, rubbing his eyes. He looked very exhausted, which is rare for him. The only time he ever got exhausted was during boxing matches against Jerry.

       The teacher placed the booklet on my desk and I immediately groaned at the instructions on the top. Questions one to fifty by tomorrow. We had the whole class to work on it, but I hated algebra. It took me way too long just to do one question and now, I was expected to do fifty by tomorrow.

       Laughlin didn't seem to like the instructions either. He sighed, very frustrated as he threw the booklet on the desk. "Do teachers even know that we have lives outside of school?" Laughlin asked. "I have no time to do this."

       "Why not?" I asked.

       "I have to watch my brothers afterschool," he told me. "I don't even know how long I'm going to be doing that."

       "Can't you do your homework while you watch them?" I asked.

       Laughlin shook his head. "No way. Even though Nick looks innocent, he can get into a lot of trouble. Besides, I was supposed to go to the gym today."

       "I can't really imagine Nick getting in trouble," I said. "Especially after yesterday when Jerry was yelling at him."

       "Now you see why I don't like Jerry," Laughlin said. "He's a jerk."

       "It's strange, though," I said. "For the years I've known him, I had never seen him act that way before." And for the years I had liked him, I never thought he would act that way. I guessed I had poor judgement.

       Laughlin shrugged and looked back at the booklet. He then began looking at all the other questions before dropping the booklet. "It's decided. I'm definitely not going to finish this in time. There's no way."

       "Why don't you tell the teacher?" I asked.

       "Because they never listen," Laughlin said. "I'll just do as much as I can."

       As he started working on the questions, I snuck a glance at Mary. She was glaring at me, looking even more angry than she was yesterday. I didn't get it. If she didn't want me talking to Laughlin, than she should have sat beside me so there wasn't an available spot for him.

       Mary was the type of person who always wanted to get her way and if she didn't get her way, she would get very angry. It got irritating at times because it seemed like she thought that her wants were more important than everyone else's, even her best friend's.

       "Hey, Elliot," Laughlin said. "You work at Matlin Gym, right?"

       "I sure hope so," I teased. "Otherwise I'd be getting paychecks for nothing. I'm working there today afterschool."

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