"What's going on?" Brian asked with concern in his voice. His cousin seemed to shrink before him. In all the years he had known him he never seen Ethan look so defeated. He had a look of a man whose world was coming apart at the very seams.
Ethan could not look at his cousin as he said "I'm getting a F in English class." His voice cracked with emotion and he fought against the tears that wanted to break forth. He refused to cry in front of his cousin and he definetly not want to cry here. His team mates would raze him for weeks if they caught him weeping like a baby.
"Oh." He said. "I'm sorry." Though he was not suprised. Ethan like the other members of the team did not take school seriously. Practice and partying were more important to them than their studies.
"Not as sorry as I am going to be when Eli finds out." he said in a somber tone. Eli junior like Brandon had no problems taking the belt to his younger brothers hides. "I failed my last test."
He looked at his cousin dumbfounded and found himself mouthing ten percent. "How?"
"I didnt study."
"Okay but still a ten percent." He said in disbelief. Yes his cousin was not the brightest member of the Johnson clan but even he could do better than that. He could not even imagine Brandon doing that poorly on a test. Even a Geography one. Did his brain completely shut down during the test?
"I might have been a little hungover."
"Okay a lot." He said. "I didnt want to come to school but Eli made me."
"Did you talk to Mrs. Candle about retaking the test."
"Yes I did." He said. "I retook it and got a seventy percent on the retake. But of course she averages the two grades together which gave me a forty percent on the test instead of ten percent." A look of anger crossed his face. "So it was not enough to salvage my grade." He wiped a rebellious tear that made its way down his cheek and looked at his cousin. "Not surprisingly it was not the first test I failed. My test average is sitting at a fifty percent right now. My quiz average is sitting at a sixty five and my homework is at seventy."
Brian took in what he had said. Test were worth twenty five percent of their overall grade, quizzes twenty, and homework just five percent which puts his grade at a thirty one points towards his final grade.
"But I can save my grade if I get an A on the paper." He said with a hopeful look across his face.
Brian thought how the paper was worth the rest of the fifty percent. If he somehow managed to get a hundred he would get fifty points towards his grade which would pull his grade up to a an eighty one percent. Even if he just got an eighty on the paper it would be enough to save him.
"And you need my help to do it." Brian said.
Ethan shook his head. "No man I need you to do for me."