Can the bonds of FRIENDSHIP overcome all odds?
Breaking
The Code
CHAPTER
7
An Unexpected Discovery
“Curiousity killed the cat, but discovery brought it back.”
Dylan stopped Bethany on the way out of class. “Hey, Bethany!”
Bethany spun around, bewildered. When she saw Dylan, she frowned. “What?” she asked, irritated.
“How did you do on the quiz today?” he asked casually.
Bethany furrowed her eyebrows. “I thought you hated me,” she stated. “Why are you talking to me?”
Dylan thought for a moment. Why was he taking to Bethany? She had a secret, that’s why. And he was going to find out what it was. “I was only wondering,” he shrugged.
Bethany sighed and continued on her way to her next class. “I did alright, I guess. I knew more than I thought I would.”
“That’s cool.” Dylan’s eyes drifted to Bethany’s backpack. “Whatcha got in there?” he asked, nudging it.
Bethany flushed. “Oh, you know, school stuff. Books, folders, papers, other stuff.”
Dylan stepped in front of Bethany and began walking backward. “What are you hiding in there?”
Bethany stopped suddenly and waved her hands frantically. “Shhhh, not so loud!”
“So you ARE hiding something!”
Bethany shrugged. “Maybe I am and maybe I’m not.” She adjusted her backpack straps on her shoulders and pushed past Dylan. “Now, excuse me. I need to get to class.”
Dylan didn’t argue. But he called after her, “we will talk after school!”
Bethany just shook her head and walked away.
“What was that about?” Travis asked as he met Dylan by his locker after sixth hour.
“Huh?”
Travis pulled open his locker and slid his notebooks in. “After fifth hour today. What were you saying to Bethany?”
Dylan laughed. “Oh, that? That’s nothing.” He ran his fingers across his books resting in his locker. “I’m just trying to solve a mystery.”
Travis raised his eyebrows. “Oh? And what mystery is that? And why does it have to involve Bethany?”
Dylan looked around skeptically and leaned in toward Travis. “Bethany is hiding something in her backpack,” he breathed, “and I’m trying to figure out what it is.”
Travis blinked. “Oh.” He shut his locker and turned toward Dylan. “But why does that matter?”
Dylan was taken aback. “Huh?” Travis took a deep breath and repeated himself. “Why does that matter? So what if Bethany is hiding something? We don’t need to have anything to do with her. The code, remember?”
Dylan thought back to that day in kindergarten when he and Travis promised to never have anything to do with girls again.
“Do you know why she did it?” he had asked.
Travis could only shake his head through the tears.
Dylan frowned and patted his friend on the shoulder. What could he do to help? He didn’t know anything about this kind of thing.
Suddenly, Travis grabbed Dylan’s shoulder. “Dylan, promise me something.”
Dylan took one look at his friend’s tearstained face and nodded. “What’s up?”
“Promise me that’ll we’ll never have anything to do with girls again.” Travis took a shaky breath. “Nothing. We won’t talk to them or play with them or anything. Promise? You have to promise.”
Dylan nodded again. “I promise.”
And then they shook on it. Two kindergarteners had just decided their destiny, and they had decided that it would have nothing to do with girls.
Travis coughed. “Well?”
Dylan blinked as the flashback ended. He sighed deeply. “Yeah, I remember,” he responded quietly.
Travis nodded. “Good.” Then he walked to class.
Dylan exhaled loudly. But Bethany was different. Bethany had a secret. And Dylan was going to figure it out, even if it killed him. As the proverb goes: Curiosity killed the cat, but discovery brought it back.
After school, Dylan rushed out of seventh hour to meet Bethany by her locker. He was going to do find out what she had in her backpack, and he was going to find out today.
He waited there for several minutes, wondering what could be keeping her. By the time she came waltzing out of her classroom, almost everyone had already left. The hallways were empty aside from them two.
Bethany looked up and noticed Dylan waiting by her locker. She rolled her eyes and groaned. Why couldn’t he just leave her alone?
When Bethany reached her locker, Dylan grinned widely. “I told you we’d talk after school.”
“Go away,” Bethany huffed. “I’m not telling you anything.”
Dylan leaned up against the locker next to Bethany’s. “Awh, come on, Beth. I’m only curious.”
Bethany simply shook her head and she placed her homework in her backpack gently, out of Dylan’s gaze. “Well, take yourself and your curiosity elsewhere. I want nothing to do with it.”
Dylan frowned. This was not going as well as he had planned. He watched Bethany zip her backpack and shut her locker. She started to turn away. He needed to act.
Suddenly, Dylan reached out and grabbed Bethany’s backpack on the left shoulder strap.
She squealed with surprise and tried to yank it away. “Hey, that’s mine!”
Dylan yanked the backpack in his direction. “If you won’t tell me what you’re hiding, I’m going to find out for myself.”
Bethany tried desperately to pull her backpack out of Dylan’s hands, but his grip was too firm. She pulled one way and he pulled another. They began to hear seams ripping.
“Let go!” Bethany cried in anguish. “You’re destroying my backpack!”
Dylan frowned. “No, you let go!”
Suddenly, the zipper burst and Bethany’s backpack exploded. Her school stuff went flying into the air, as well as a tiny wad of blue scales.
“Sapphire!” Bethany cried. She watched in horror as her little dragon began to descend to the carpet. She landed on her feet awkwardly, shook it off, and then began to scurry down the hall.
Bethany started after her right away. “Come on,” she called to Dylan, “we have to catch her before anyone sees!”
Dylan simply stood there, aghast. “Wha, what was that thing?”
Bethany rushed back to where Dylan stood and grabbed his arm, pulling him after her. “Just come on. I’ll explain everything later.”

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