2. Social Suicide

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Samuel had lunch with a flock of female students, their merriment could be heard from across the cafeteria. Olivia and I sat at our usual location, the table farthest from the cheer and football team. It wasn't the same without Sam, but I could tell he wanted to avoid me. Olivia scowled at them as if her stare could boil their brains.

"Sam will be back," I reassured, but then Olivia was the one that wanted Sam and I to kiss so I'm not sure I should.

"What an ass," Olivia said, as she stabbed her mac and cheese, "he could fit in with the meatheads at this rate."

Olivia meant the football team, which have the best table next to the windows. Donovan and several teammates crumbled homework then flicked the wads at another student. Allan had this beautiful brunette coiled around his arm, an Italian student named Emma Hull.

"You should talk to him, this is because that kiss after all."

"I didn't think he would react this bad," Olivia admitted, her mac and cheese mushed into a smoothie texture, "talk about overcompensation."

Sam awarded the women with his brilliant smile and talked about his travels. I stared at the women around him, their cheeks were dusted in blush and I couldn't tell if it was cosmetic or natural.

Olivia interrupted my daze to ask, "How was Dadzilla?"

"Um, an ass but not that bad," I answered, but the truth was shrouded, "like usual he was mad that I'm not Allan."

"You don't deserve that," Olivia said. "I can't believe he makes his own son live in the GARAGE."

It was almost time to head back to class, when a freshman named Beckham Finch tackled Olivia. Olivia chuckled then smacked the student. Beckham carried buckets with brushes and headsets in them.

"Beck, don't scare me like that!"

"I couldn't resist," Beckham said, brunette curls framed his round face, "the drama teacher said that I could be on the tech crew when Dracula comes out. I'm so excited!"

"That's awesome," Olivia cheered. "You should audition to be in the show next time."

Olivia and Beckham used to be childhood friends. I was never close with Beckham, but he was the one individual that Olivia handled in delicate hands. Beckham was shorter than most and he used to own dolls, so other students ridiculed him. Olivia could tear me and Samuel to shreds but not Beckham.

"I would be too scared," Beckham said, his smile soft.

"Come on! You could out act them all."

I listened to them talk back and forth until the bell cheered. I ambled to class in the student mass, shoulders rammed into other shoulders and I felt like a raft in the ocean. I had two more classes until baseball, which made me thankful that autumn cooled down the weather.

"Strike two!"

"Look alive, Walcott!" the coach shouted, his hand entwined in the chain link fence.

He shook the metal like a rattlesnake. I clenched the bat until all knuckles went white, wind tickled loose strands of hair under my helmet. Those in the outfield kicked stones around. Practice was almost over when the baseball rocketed towards me. There was a clank and the ball soared towards swollen clouds.

I ran to third base as the team scrambled in outfield. Pebbles rolled beneath me. As I slid to the base a dust storm stirred into action. Randall received the ball too late and threw his helmet onto the dirt, there was a sweat hammock between his brows.

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