4) 'A Watched Pot Never Boils' And Other Lies People Tell You In Hope Of Them...

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4) 'A Watched Pot Never Boils' And Other Lies People Tell You In Hope Of Them Becoming True

It proved to be quite easy to ignore the Dutch, Benjamin realized. He didn't even need to pursue the strategy he plotted with Heston and Messiah (a strategy that may or may not have involved a plot from a comic book). Then, sadly, something he hadn't seen coming happened during Math.

For a day or two, Benjamin could take notice of something that happened to Dutch Problem every time someone said his name (what was it, again?). Something... dying inside of him. Yet another Eurovision ballad with sad violins (Benjamin had done his research; he fancied himself a licensed Europe-information-thingy) playing.

This, he did not take note of directly. Or maybe he did, and actually hoped that something was dying inside of the Dutch. Oh well.

Back to the subject: Thoy-mun had been able to avoid placing his butt anywhere near Benjamin. All the classes they had together, there was always a place left where Thijmen could sit that happened to be far away from Benjamin. Not that he did much. He just hung low in his chair with his ridiculously long legs stretched out beneath the table. He had his book open in front of him—to keep the teacher happy, most probably—but he didn't write anything down.

Benjamin wondered how the boy was not going to fail all his classes if he kept it up like that, but he was just happy he was staying away from him.

Yet, with Math, he was not so lucky.

The tables in the Math classroom were arranged differently, so that people had to sit in threes instead of pairs, but the only other person who had this particular Math class besides Benjamin was Martin, which meant there was an empty table in their row.

And no other free tables, much to Ben's dismay.

So the Dutch sat down next to Benjamin and carelessly tossed his backpack on the table. Benjamin glared at him and Martin leaned across Ben's table to ask, "hey, 'sup? You're a new guy, right?" Anytime Martin spoke to anyone outside of his comfort zone it sounded like the voice of a character from Son's of Anarchy had been dubbed over his actual voice (a voice that you could hear during game nights in his basement).

The Dutch boy nodded, but didn't say anything else, deeming the conversation over. He stared ahead, his face devoid of any emotion, and Benjamin wondered what the hell was going on his head.

The teacher, Mrs. Parrot, then came in and announced that her class was about to start. She picked up her list of names, scanned it and a Eurovision ballad seemed to start playing in her eyes, too. Either she had just seen a puppy get kicked, or she had noticed the Dutch name right at the top of the list.

"Ah," she sighed. "Thai-mon de Broon?"

Instead of just telling her he was present, he mumbled, "no."

Mrs. Parrot frowned and looked down at her list again, as if that could help her pronounce the name better, and tried again, "Thaiimen de Broin?"

"Try again," the Dutch said with a shake of the head. Ben was starting to wonder if the boy was out for trouble with a teacher, because he was not exactly being very respectful at the moment.

Fortunately for him, Mrs. Parrot tried again. Unfortunately for her, she still got it wrong. With shame stuck in her throat, she ventured, "Tuy-men dee Brahn?" One of her eyebrows, sharp as a sword (a very rusty sword; she shared a hair color similar to Benjamin's) twitched up and down. Judging by her sloping posture she had already given up and knew that she was wrong right from the start. "Thuy-mon? Thi-man? Brown? Brunn? Would you be so kind and h—"

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