"Hey, it's Mouse."
"Yeah, caller ID."
"So...." Mouse said, "I hate your brother."
"Uh-huh." I said casually, randomly drawing on my desk.
"He's not supposed to be smart." Mouse said.
"Well," I said, "He skipped a grade, he's on the honer roll, he hasn't gotten a grade below a B- since 8th grade."
"Yeah, I know all that," Mouse said, sounding annoyed, "But he signed me up for volunteering! How did he think of that?"
"Well," I said, "He's a member of the volunteering committee at our school. He's not that stupid, you know.... Except for when it comes to choosing boyfriends...."
Mouse didn't say anything for a second, but groaned, "What's wrong with that kid? I didn't even get him suspended! It's not like I asked him to hit me."
I started to say something, but Mouse interrupted me, "'Hey, Chris, wouldn't it be just swell if you punched me in the face and got suspended? That sure would be great!' Yeah, that wasn't how it happened. All I'm saying is he put it on himself and he shouldn't punish me for it."
I shook my head, "No, actually, you started it, Mouse. You hurt him, you are rude to him, you have no sense of his feelings! Chris is fragile, be careful with him."
"Oh, yeah, the kid's real delicate." Mouse said sarcastically, "I 'get him suspended' and he ruins my life."
"Don't be so dramatic, Mouse." I shot back, "Will you try not being so sarcastic for once?"
"Ah, no can do, Blondie." Mouse said, "I'm afraid sarcasm is the only language I'm fluent in and if I try to speak in any other tongue, some parts of our conversation could be misunderstood."
"You're unbelievable!" I said, "If you weren't Leo's step sister, none of us would ever hang around you because you are a jerk."
"Tell me something I don't know." Mouse said cooly. I couldn't believe this.
I laughed hollowly, "Okay, one day, when we've had enough of you and we all leave, let's see where you'll be."
"Do tell," Mouse said with mock enthusiasm.
I clenched my teeth and said into the phone, "Nowhere. Without us, you'd be sitting at the back of the room, all by yourself with no one there to take care of your messed up little self."
Mouse sighed and said sarcastically, "Oh, you're right, Ange. I'm nothing without my friends."
That was it, I hung up the phone. Sometimes, I really don't remember why I'm friends with Mouse. I sometimes even wonder if the only reason I hang around her is because Leo's stuck with her. Maybe I just think she needs someone to take care of her.