We all eyed Mouse cautiously at lunch. She didn't say anything, she just sat in her seat, picking up spoonfuls of... Erm... I think it was potatoes and gravy that day... and plopping it back onto her lunch tray. She seemed to be waiting for something....
"Hey, what's up, sista?" Chris cried over-enthusiastically, beaming cheerily as he appeared behind Mouse, "How's my fellow volunteer? Are you ready to help the environment, make blankets for the homeless, and become a better citizen?"
Mouse bent the spoon in her hand and didn't say anything.
Chris grinned and bent over her shoulder, saying quietly in her ear, "I'm not afraid of you."
Mouse chuckled and, without looking at Chris, whispered, "The feelings are mutual."
Chris grinned and replied softly, "Ah, building your vocabulary I see. Good job, Tiffany."
Mouse bent her spoon a bit farther and didn't say anything for a while.
Chris whispered into her ear, "Meeting at 3:15 today."
He walked away grinning and Mouse sat still as a statue.
"I hate him." She said through clenched teeth.
"I know." Leo and I said at the same time.
We were all quiet for a long time.
"So, where are Alice and Chris sitting?" Leo said, trying to start a conversation before Mouse boiled over.
I pointed at a table near the back of the lunchroom, "They're sitting with the volunteering kids."
Leo looked at the volunteer kids, then at me, then at Mouse. He grinned and, scooting a bit closer to me, said smugly to Mouse, "Hey, Tiffany, how about you go sit with the volunteer kids? After all, you're one of them."
"Keep in mind," Mouse said, "After your neck is broken, it takes forever to heal."
Leo's breath shorted out and the color drained from his face, "Erm, hey, Angela, I think I'm having a stroke!"
He pretended to 'faint', hoping I would catch him, but I casually backed away and he fell off his seat, onto the floor.
A few of the cheerleaders sitting at a nearby table giggled and Leo blushed.
"Angela!" He said, "Why did you move?"
"Because I didn't want a Leo in my lap." I said flatly.
Leo smiled at me, letting his head touch the floor. The lunchroom floor. Gross.
I shook my head, "Not smart. Think about it."
After about half a second, Leo jumped up and sat at the table again.
Mouse stared at us for a second, the tenseness draining from her face. She smiled brightly, which was a little bit creepy, and stood up, "Okay then, I'll go sit with my fellow volunteers."
Leo and I sat in place, stupidly staring as Mouse walked over to the volunteers' lunch table.
She sat down with them, beaming and saying something. Every one of the volunteer kids looked surprised. Chris tapped Alice's hand under the table and she did so to the next person, who repeated the step. Slowly, they all stuck tight smiles on their faces and Chris said something that was probably some kind of greeting.
Wow, good job, little brother. I thought sarcastically.
Mouse looked a little confused, but smiled sweetly and started talking with the group.
Leo whispered to me, "How long do you think she can go on with this?"
I shook my head, "I don't know, she's not as smart as she thinks she is."
"But she's still pretty smart." Leo said, "This should be good."
I grinned, "Yeah, it will."