The
Underachievers
CHAPTER
16
Tyler on TV
I told my Dad all about our assembly today as he and I played some basketball in the driveway. I’m just so psyched about the money the school got to bring art into our school. Next year I will be in the school’s first art class. Plus it is all thanks to that knuckle-head Braeden. No one would ever guess he would do something like that. Even though he probably did it mostly for himself, it benefits all of us. My Dad said the school may need more than the $10,000 prize for all the supplies, hiring a teacher and so on. So, I think we are going to have to do some fundraisers. I’m up for that. After I totally beat my Dad at basketball, Erin yelled for us to come inside quick. We hurried in. My Mom and Erin waved us over to sit down on the couch.
There were commercials on and we were confused. Then the news came on and my school was on TV! Blaze and Geordie from KPOW – 103.5 FM were standing outside by the school sign. They explained how they were about to sneak into Mountain View Middle School to interrupt our spirit assembly and announce us as the winners of their ‘Get Arts Back in Our School’ contest. It was funny to see them entering our school, pointing out our mural and heading to the gym. Blaze opened the door a crack and looked in. “Are you ready?” Blaze said to the camera. “Let’s go.” Blaze and Geordie each opened one of the double doors and they ran in. The camera scanned all the surprised students in the bleachers and some of the teachers. I’m pretty sure I saw myself. It was so cool. Braeden looked like he was going to pass out standing next to the DJs. I laughed so hard. After, my sister hugged me and said, “My brother’s famous!” My parents thought it was so great.
I had to go text the others to make sure they saw it. My Mom actually recorded it so we could watch it again. Zoey and Savannah had already texted everyone. I also started getting texts from some of my other friends.
That night before I headed up to bed my Dad actually said he noticed some positive changes in me lately and was proud of me. If I get my grades up before the end of the year he said he will go with me to talk to the coach and see about getting me back on the team next year. That felt really good to know my Dad is proud of me.
Saturday morning I woke up early. I’m not sure if my internal body clock is still use to me getting up early on Saturdays or if it was the smell of coffee wafting upstairs or perhaps it was the sound of my Dads drill and some swearing coming from the room below me. I went downstairs and poured myself some coffee.
“Really?” Asked my Mom.
“I’m old enough,” I said. “Besides I put mostly milk in.”
My Mom just shook her head. My dad walked in and said to my Mom,”Don’t worry its decaf.”
Somehow that made my coffee not seem as cool to drink now, but I still like the taste. So, I shook off the disappointment. Mom made eggs, bacon and toast. I helped my Dad put up some blinds and fancy curtain rods in the living room. It seems like my mom always wants to change things, but my dad always ends up doing the work.
‘Note to self: Marry a woman who doesn’t keep changing her mind and want to redecorate all the time.’
After breakfast I worked on my sketch of a leopard. I think it is going to end up being my best piece of work so far. If Principal Callahan lets us have an art exhibit or something, this may just be the piece I will bring in to show.
Monday morning started with a math test. That’s a Monday for you. At lunch I sat with Ben, Savannah, and Zoey. We talked more about the art exhibit. If Callahan lets us do it, we thought there may be a way to make money with it. Maybe a raffle or bake sale at the show to bring in more money for art classes next year. Maybe people would just donate money too. Just before lunch was over Braeden slid into a chair at our table.
“So, do you guys want the good news or the bad news first?” Braeden said. He bit his lower lip and drummed a beat on the table as we all looked at each other.
“Good news please!” Savannah said first.
“I saw Callahan and we are having an art show!” Braeden said.
“Are you serious dude?” I asked.
“Yeah, I am,” said Braeden.
I high-fived Braeden and then Ben. The girls hugged.
We were so excited and all started talking about it until Zoey stopped us.
“Wait, what is the bad news?” Asked Zoey.
“Yeah,” said Ben.
“The bad news is that we are going to have to behave, not skip classes, and do our work,” said Braeden.
“That’s it?” Asked Savannah.
“Yup,” said Braeden.
Man, we were relieved. We did some planning for a few more minutes until the bell abruptly ended our conversation.
As I was about to leave gym class I ran into my basketball Coach. It was so awkward.
“Mr. Lynch,” coach said.
“Coach,” I said back. “Uh, listen. I’m really sorry again. For everything.”
“Water under the bridge son. Get those grades up,” he said.
The bell put an end to our short awkward conversation. I headed to my last class of the day. I felt weird about that conversation. Should I not have said anything? Had he forgiven me? If I get my grades up will he give me a chance to get back on the team next year? I guess I’ll have to wait and see how it all plays out.
After school I saw principal Callahan. I mentioned adding a bake sale or raffle to the art show night and she thought that was a great idea. I reached up and slapped upper doorway on my way out. Monday was turning out to be a pretty good day for a change. I walked out to the buses which started moving. Where was my bus? I started jogging looking at the numbers. Mine was the first in line today and took off before I could reach it! Dang I went and jinxed myself. I pulled out my cellphone to call my mom, and it started raining. “Welcome back classic Monday,” I said to myself.
My mom wasn’t answering.
“Need a ride?” a voice asked.
I turned to see my friends Jackson’s older sister. “I…sure thanks.” When did Lauren get so good looking?
Jackson ran over to us. “Hey Tyler!”
“Hey” I said as I was still checking out his sister.
She smiled and told Jackson they were giving me a ride home. I pulled my suction cup gaze away from hotness, I mean Lauren and follow to car.
“Ty!”
“Yes,” I said. “I mean what?”
“I asked if you missed the bus. You okay?” Jackson asked.
“Beautiful, I mean great, uh yeah.”
“Are you entering anything in the science fair?” Jackson asked.
“No.”
Jackson went on to tell me about his science experiment. I’m sure it was interesting but Lauren was tucking her long shiny light brown hair behind her adorable right ear. I was trying to remember if she was a sophomore or junior in high school. She started up the car and the music woke me up like an alarm.
“Got your seatbelts on?” She asked loudly over the music.
“Yes!” Jackson said. “So, I think my project is pretty great don’t you?”
“Uh yeah. Good luck.”
“Thanks. Hey if you want to come over this weekend and watch the baseball game you can. My Dads got friends coming over so there will be a bunch of food and stuff,” said Jackson.
“Cool yeah. That would be fun.” I wondered if Lauren would be home.
When Lauren dropped me off my mother was just pulling into the driveway.
“Hi honey, who was that?” Asked Mom.
“Lauren,” I said.
“Jackson’s sister? My how time flies. I didn’t know she was driving already.”
“Yeah she drives really good,” I said as I watched her car pull into their driveway a few houses down.
“You mean she drives well. Can you please help me with the groceries?” Mom asked.
“Sure.” I grabbed a few bags hoping Lauren would see how strong I am.
After all the groceries were in the kitchen I started toward my room.
“Tyler? Can you please meet Erin at her bus stop while I put the groceries away? Bring the umbrella too.”
“Ugh. Fine,” I said.
I grabbed the umbrella out of the closet. “Mom, where is the blue umbrella?”
“In your father’s car,” said Mom.
“I can only find the pink one.”
“So?” Said Mom.
“So, I am not using a pink umbrella.”
“Don’t be silly. Who cares what color it is? Now go,” said Mom.
I went outside and made sure Lauren was in her house. Luckily Erin’s bus stop was the opposite way. I’d have Erin hold the umbrella on the way back from her bus. Even though she is shorter and often bumps it into my head it was better than someone seeing me with a pink umbrella. It was only lightly raining anyway. We didn’t really need it.
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