Chapter 8: Andrew

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Andrew spent most of class staring out the window at the brown leaves drifting down from the mostly empty branches. He needed to think of something else besides how this time of year made him feel. Something else besides those leaves piling up around a cold granite gravestone.

Maybe he should go to Subway after school and hang out there for a while. He could do his homework, and he wouldn't be alone like he would be at home. Cody would be there. And that girl Haylee. Maybe he could find out if Haylee really did like Cody. For some reason, he thought Haylee and Cody would be a cute couple. Haylee looked like such a prep, and Cody was such a stoner.

If only Cody wasn't so hung up on Nina.

Did the football guys hang out there every afternoon? They couldn't, they had to have football practice sometime, right? Probably right after school. Yeah, because Ryan's therapy appointment must be after football practice. He'd have time to walk there after practice and get there for four o'clock. So practice probably went for, like, an hour after school. That was something, anyway. He could kill an hour at Subway before going home.

He had only just tuned back in to the class discussion when Andrew saw Ryan turn in his seat slightly, like he was trying to look at something out the window. He squinted, then looked right at Andrew. And immediately turned forward and looked down at his notebook.

Andrew watched Ryan for a minute, watched the big guy squirm a little in his seat. Watched Monica glance over just for a second.

Why did he get the feeling Ryan had turned around only to look at him? Did he have something stuck in his teeth? He ran his tongue over them, felt nothing. Maybe his eyes were still red from lunch. He rubbed them, knowing that would only make it worse.

When the bell rang, Ryan left the room like a shot, with Monica trailing after him like a lost puppy.

Oh well. Whatever.

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