32) Lured

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Dick noticed all the stares he received the moment he walked in the classroom. Had it been like this last time, too? He shoved the thought away as he told the teacher good morning and sat down in his seat. He took his notebook and pencil out from his backpack and set it on his desk.

The desks were set in groups, and every desk in Dick's group was occupied. "Hiya, Dick. Why weren't you at school yesterday?" A boy with blonde hair asked. Dick had already forgotten his name.

"Yeah, we missed you." A female student commented.

Dick gulped. "Thanks.. something came up. I'm fine, though."

"If you want, I can tell you what work you missed and stuff." The blonde offered. Dick remembered his name now, it was Dieter.

"Ah," Dick stammered, "u-uh, thanks. I could use that."

Dieter smiled before filling his classmate in, "Well, we learned some new vocab words- so you'll probably need to copy those- and we watched a video about how the Declaration of Independence was made- don't worry, you should be glad you didn't watch it; it was so boring- and-"

"And we had music for specials! I wish you could've seen it: We had a sub and he went to play the guitar and when he played it, it was horrible! But he thought it was good! We were all trying not to laugh because that would be mean, but I guess he could tell and he just put funny videos on the projector so we could forget about it!" The other classmate interjected.

Dieter and the girl laughed. Dick gave an unconvincing chuckle. He didn't like how he couldn't tell whether they genuinely liked him or if this was an act. They didn't seem scared.. but that was the point, wasn't it?

A hazel eyed girl in their group quietly listened to their conversation but didn't join. Dick remembered her.

"Hey, before class begins, how about you tell me about yourselves more? I don't really know that much about you guys." Dick suggested. "You should go first, Shelly. If you want."

The girl's eyes widened slightly by surprised and she became sheepish. "U-um.. sure, I guess. I don't know what to say.."

"Anything you want," Dick explained, "just something so I can know more about you."

Shelly shrugged softly. She opened her mouth hesitantly while everyone watched. "I like to play the piano. I'm still a beginner but I want to become as good as my parents. They were the ones who made me take lessons. At first, I hated it, but now, I think it's nice." Her eyes landed on Dick's nervously, as if seeking approval.

"Oh, so you must really like music class?" Dick asked kindly.

Shelly smiled and nodded.

"Wow, the piano looks really hard to play. You have to practice a lot to get good. You must have a lot of patience, that's super impressive!"

Shelly blushed and looked the other way. She squeaked a small, "Thanks."

"Me next!" Dieter insisted as he leaned forward from his seat. Dick gestured for him to go.

"I was raised in Germany but born in Gotham. Ask me to translate any word from English to German and I'll do it. Google translate who?" He joked. "Haha, but seriously, man, I've been, like, everywhere! I used to live in Asia for a while, too."'

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