Friday: 12:00 p.m.
‘Push off, shrimp! These tables are for sixth grade only.’
‘Yeah, get lost, Four-eyes.’
The comments interspersed with laughter stung Frankie’s ears as he approached the lunch table.
‘Leave him be, Nits,’ he said, pushing his way through the group to take a seat beside a shaking Binka. ‘He’s not hurting anyone. He’s going to sit with Olly and me. He’s our friend.’
Nits exploded into laughter, almost overbalancing on his crutches.
‘That’d be right! The only friends you nerds can get are dweeby fourth-graders.’
The Boneheads laughed in agreement.
‘Who’s dweeby?’ asked Olly, sticking a bony elbow into anyone in his path as he joined his friends. He tripped over one of Nits’ crutches before landing heavily in a seat opposite Frankie and Binka.
‘Ow! Watch it, Mollison! I’m injured here. You wanna share my pain?’
Oliver pulled himself up to his full height. He was a half head taller than any of the other boys in the sixth grade, and although he was thin, his height still had its advantages.
‘I’m sorry, Nits,’ he said in a firm voice, looking down, directly into the angry face. ‘I must have tripped. I was trying to get through to my friends.’
Nits glared back, but Olly’s gaze did not waver.
‘Yeah, well, you better be more careful,’ Nits growled, breaking the eye lock. ‘Don’t mess with me, Olly Molly.’
He turned muttering to his supporters about the stupidity of nerds. There was much backslapping and laughter as the group moved off to other tables.
Olly exhaled and slumped back into the seat.
‘Wow,’ Binka breathed. ‘You weren’t scared at all.’
‘Oh yes he was,’ Frankie grinned.
‘Oh yes I was,’ Olly confirmed. ‘Frank and I have been putting up with the Boneheads for years.’ He swigged from his water bottle.
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