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"school's out for summa! how do you feel, stan?" i ask my best friend excitedly, putting my arm around his shoulder. stanley and i have been the best of friends for as long as i could remember. i think it's because our parents are friends, or since we're neighbors, but who knows to be honest.

"somehow relieved," he replies simply.

"that's all you're gonna say? i'm bouncing off of the walls right now!"

"so, you're basically ecstatic," he says, turning his head and to me. i sigh, disappointed in myself.

"i need a larger vocabulary."

we soon find the other losers, bill, eddie, and richie, and continue to walk with them out of the door. they were all discussing stan's bah mitzvah that was coming up soon, saying that he was going to get his dick chopped off or something.

"hey stan, what happens at a mitzvah anyways? eddie says you slice the tip of your d-di-dick off," bill inquires, making me laugh.

"yeah! the rabbi's gonna pull down your pants and'll tell the crowd; where's the beef?" richie remarks, causing an eye roll from stanley, who then starts to explain what he actually does at the event.

"hey, i'll be right back," i say softly, so only stan could hear. "bathroom."

he nods and continues to talk, but before i left, i caught a glimpse of richie, who had his eyebrows furrowed in confusion.

before i walked, in i could hear greta yelling angrily at someone in the bathroom.

"are you in there by yourself, beaver-ly? or do you have half the guys in there with you, huh, slut?" oh, beverly.

"i know you're in there, you little shit, i can smell you."

i open the door and begin to walk in, "what are you-"

"such a loser. at least you smell better," she finished, just after wet garbage was thrown over and into the stall where, i was guessing, beverly was. my shoulder gets pushed out of the way as the girls exit, leaving me and beverly alone in the tiled room. i run to her stall and knock on it.

"hey, beverly? are you alright?" i question, my voice laced with worry.

she opens the stall, picking pieces of wet trash off of her. "it's fine, it was my last cig, though." she shows me her damp cigarette that was caught in the crossfire.

i scurry away, getting her some paper towels and hand them to her. she smiles and gladly takes them. "why are you being so nice to me, stranger?"

"the only friends i have are guys, it's time for a change," i state, making her chuckle dryly. "oh! sorry, my name's maxine, nice to meet you."

"i'll catch you later, maxine?"

"obviously," i grin happily. she simpers out of the room after throwing away the leftover garbage, leaving me to do my business.

"what do you guys wanna do tomorrow?" i hear eddie ask.

"i'm gonna start my training," richie announces boastfully. i tilt my head and narrow my eyes in his direction.

"training? what training?"

he rolls his eyes and smirks. "street fighter."

"street fighter, richie? is that how you want to spend your summer? stuck in an arcade?" i interrupt as i make my way up to the group, outside of the school building by the trash cans.

"better than inside your mother," he winks, sending a nervous and jittery feeling down my spine.

"guys, we can go to the buh-b-barrens," bill interjects. we all nod in agreement.

"y'know, the barrens aren't that bad."

"yeah! who doesn't love splashing around in shitty water?" richie retorts, rhetorically. "one day i'm going to get lost down there, and you'll all find me decomposed, covered in worms and maggots and smelling like.. eddie's mom's underwear!"

i'm the only one in the group that starts laughing. "what, you guys didn't think that was funny?"

"shut up, richie! shut up!" eddie snaps, causing me to laugh even harder.

"you two are so alike," stan says, pointing to richie and i with his pointer and middle finger.

i roll my eyes and scoff at the comment. "stan, you know just as well as i do that, that's not true."

"i don't know, babe," richie says, securely putting his arm around my waist. "i think we're more alike than you think." i step out of his grasp just in time, for patrick hockstetter pushed stanley in our direction, landing painfully on richie.

"nice frisbee, flamer." we all turn our heads to the sound of the voice; henry bowers.

"give it back," stan demands, talking about the kippah that was taken off of his head by the bully. it had been thrown into a moving schoolbus. nice shot.

"you s-s-sh-suck, bowers," bill states angrily.

"shut up, bill," i whisper, hitting him in the arm.

"did you s-suh-suh-say something, b-buh-billy?" henry then proceeds to push bill to the floor. richie gets up and tries to defend him, but gets thrown to the ground again, in the process. i run over to them and kneel down.

"guys, are you okay?"

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