Chapter Five

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"You left your sweater at my house yesterday," Jessie says as I walk into computer science. "My mom insisted on washing it."

"Thanks," I say, pulling it on over my uniform shirt. "Wonder how long I can wear this before someone yells at me for being out of uniform."

"I bet you can last until the end of third period, if you're careful about avoiding the VPs over lunch."

"No way," I tell him. "Haven't you seen the way Mrs. Olsen patrols the hallways after second period? She's like a hawk! I'll never make it past her."

"Want to bet?" he asks, eyebrow raised and grinning. The sight of his pink braces makes me smile. "Loser buys lunch."

"You're on, but if I get detention, you're buying me pizza for a week!"

"Deal." We shake on it before logging onto the computers. Mr. Nunez, our teacher, starts writing the assignment on the board.

"Is it just me," I whisper, leaning closer to Jessie, "or does Mr. Nunez look particularly raisin-like today?"

Jessie's laughter rips through him and spit splatters across his monitor, earning him a glare from the front of the room.

"He so does! All round and purple and wrinkly." Jessie presses a hand over his mouth to muffle his laughing.

"Miss Murphy, Mister Masood, would you care to share what's so funny with the rest of the class?"

"It's nothing," Jessie says through his laughter. He's got tears streaming down his cheeks. "Rowan just wrote nextLime instead of nextLine."

"Gotta love Java jokes, sir," I call out. "That one was so bad, it overflew my stack."

Even Mr. Nunez snickers at that one. "Just get back to work, guys. You have a presentation on Monday, remember."

...

Dillon's waiting for me at my locker when the bell rings at the end of the day, backpack already slung over her shoulder.

"How'd you know where my locker is?" I ask her, although I'm glad that she did. We didn't exactly set up a meeting place yesterday and the last thing I'd want to do is spend a half hour wandering the school and looking for her.

"My first period is right over there," she tells me, nodding towards the door to the left of my locker. "I see you here sometimes in the morning."

I spin the combination into my locker and yank the door open, having to use most of my body weight to coax the hinges into moving. "You have homework?"

She shakes her head. "Finished it all in class. You?"

"Just a presentation to practice for, but that can wait until Sunday night." I kick off my all-black school shoes and change into more comfortable runners before pulling out my bag and slamming my locker shut. "I hate this thing. Never wants to open, never wants to close."

Dillon snorts. "You think that's bad? The last locker I had in Montréal, someone had tried to rip the door off, and so it was crooked and couldn't close at all. I had to carry all of my crap in my bag because I didn't want it to get stolen. I swear to God, I turned into a hunchback."

"Did you grow up in Montreal?" I ask her as we start walking. My locker is near the back exit of the school, so we push through the double doors and step out into warm air. There're only a couple days left of summer, a couple days left of green leaves and yellow sun.

"All my life. Montréal-Nord, it's called."

"What's it like?"

"In Montréal-Nord? Lots of poor people, lots of Haitians, so my family fit right in."

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