“Oh, you promise, huh?” Mandy replied in mock anger. “Well, you had better at least act normal around him, that’s all I can say. Remember, he’s probably nervous-” The bus pulled up and Mandy paused to get on. Once she and Beck were seated, she continued. “-too. I mean, it’s his first day, he’s the new kid.”

“New kid?” A mousy brown head and a pair of shockingly bright lime green glasses popped up from the next seat. It was Melinda Van Elson, Mandy and Beck’s sort-of friend who absolutely lived for things like this. “Did you say there’s a new kid?”

“Um. Yeah.” said Mandy, glancing at Beck and rolling her eyes. “My cousin Cy, he’s just moved here from Seattle.”

“Seattle! Wow!” Melinda was standing all the way up now, and only a quick admonition from the bus driver saved her from being catapulted through the windshield at the next red light.

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