Edd stepped off the bus and shouldered his backpack. His chest swelled with pride at the sight before him: Peach Creek High. Others around him shuffled about with gloomy expressions and muttered unpleasant remarks under their breath. For the life of him, he couldn’t see why. This was the next step in their academic lives, the moment they felt closer to institutions of higher learning, and the first day of many enjoyable days of learning and scholastic knowledge in this new school year.
He straightened his tie and smoothed out his pressed vest, ready to meet his fellow students and academic professors with a big smile and a positive attitude. Edd was so excited and enamored with the thought of entering high school, he didn’t realize he was blocking the door to the school bus and preventing everyone else from disembarking.
“Come on, Sockhead,” Eddy said, pushing him along. “We got to make a good first impression and standing there
“Twenty-five cents, please,” Edd said, holding up the glass jar to Johnny. The nearly bald boy dug into his pocket, pulled out a shiny quarter, and deposited it. Although Edd would be happy to let Johnny enter, he knew that Eddy would demand everyone pay. “And Plank?” he asked, turning the jar to the painted wooden board that Johnny cradled in the crook of his arm.
Johnny turned to Plank, watching his painted face for an answer. “Sure I got it, buddy,” he said and pulled another quarter out of his pocket. A forged wooden quarter. “Plank says he’s a little short this week. He can pay you on his next allowance.”
Edd plucked the quarter out of the jar, examining it and frowning. He didn’t want to make waves, but he knew Eddy wouldn’t accept that excuse. Then again, it was unfair to gouge Johnny twice for his unique friendship, so he lifted the curtain and welcomed the pair inside. “This wa
The return to his previous standing with Marie wasn’t as immediate as Edd had hoped, but the gesture had re-opened her door and she let him in. “Pretty smooth with the fire crackers,” she had commented.
“I had some inspiration,” he said, rubbing his neck.
It took a couple of weeks until Edd felt like they were back on solid ground and where they had been before. Marie continued acting coy and flirtatious in public. Yet in private, well, the thoughts of her more intimate and personal demeanor always made his cheeks burn and blush.
Still, Marie had been the first to invite him in when this all started. And while he had accepted and they had grown close, there was a nagging sensation that he hadn’t quite met her level of commitment, that she had bared more of herself to him than he had to her.
One last grand gesture formulated in his mind to resolve this itch. Perhaps too grand, as the thought alone made him more anxious a
“Double Dee!” Eddy shouted a third time, yanking on Edd’s beanie.
His train of thought derailed, Edd pulled out of Eddy’s hold and straightened his trusty hat. “I’m sorry. Yes?”
“I asked if you did the math homework already. I need to write them down, copy them, and sell the answers before last period,” he said. Eddy had made them a tidy profit lately, scouting out those more willing to part with cash than put in the work of doing their homework for good grades. They had a pretty good system going, as Eddy had accrued an unusually high number of clientele that demanded their work. Edd figured he must have been working himself harder than normal, pitching their offer to as many classes as possible.
Edd’s only contribution was to do his homework and let Eddy handle the rest. “It’s simple. Do your homework a day early so everyone else can copy it,” Eddy had said. The one area th