The
Underachievers
CHAPTER
5
Sawyer Spills
“Alright Zangeon Huntinghawk, my male Elf warrior. You’re starting to look pretty good. I’m going to paint your eyes a deep green now. I’m going to need to adjust my lighted magnifier, here… perfect.”
I’m so happy I got this lighted hobby magnifier. This back room is small and too dark. I stirred the dark green paint. I carefully dipped the tip of the brush in the paint and tested it on a piece of paper to get some of the excess off so my elf doesn’t end up with big alien globe eyes. Carefully, with a steady hand, I brought the tip of the brush to the right eyeball. Carefully dabbing the tip until the iris around the pupil was a nice even deep green. Perfection. Now for the left eye. Steady hand… and done. I set the brush down on the paint palette. I looked at Zangeon’s eyes through the magnifier a little more then set him down.
Someone knocked on the door. “Honey! Eleanor is here,” my Mom said.
The door opened and Eleanor, or Eli as I called her for short, walked past my mother and into my little hobby room. “Can I get you two anything?” My Mom asked.
“No, thank you,” Eli and I said at the same time. My mother closed the door and I heard her walking back down the stairs.
“So… what are you doing here?” I asked my neighbor and friend since we were in first grade.
“I was bored and thought I’d come over and bug you,” Eli said.
“You’ve been bored a lot lately, I’ve noticed.” I picked up two paint tubes, burnt sienna and titanium white.
“Well maybe I wouldn’t be bored if my gaming buddy wasn’t in trouble. You have three more detentions to go right?” Eli smiled.
“You know I have four more to go,” I said as I squeezed some paint onto the palette.
“What did you do to get detentions anyway?” Eli asked.
“How many times are you going to ask me that question?” I countered with another question.
“Until you tell me. Come on Sawyer, we’ve been friends forever. We tell each other practically everything.”
“Oh yeah? Why are you really coming over here so much lately El?”
“Sawyer, you are just avoiding the question,” she pouted.
“So are you!” I said as I mixed two paint colors trying to get a pale skin color for my elf.
“Okay fine, you want to know the truth, I’ll tell you. My parents have been arguing a lot lately and I’m sick of hearing them. So I come over here to get away from it. Happy now?”
“No.” I said honestly. “I’m sorry Eli. That must be awful.”
“Whatever, Gandalf,” Eli said and picked up one of my figurines.
“I really am sorry,” I added.
“So why are you spending Saturdays in detention?” Eli asked expecting an answer.
“El, does it really matter?”
“Yes! Besides I told you why I have been coming over here more often. Now you have to tell me. You know I won’t tell anyone Sawyer.”
I took a deep breath and considered whether I could actually tell her or not. One look at her and I knew she was not going to leave this time until I told her. “Fine, I’ll tell you. I got into a fight with Kyle Reed in P.E. and I shoved Mr. Hoister when he tried to pull me off of Kyle.”
Eli just stared at me for a very long minute. “Are you kidding me? You had a fight with that big trouble-maker? And shoved a teacher?”
“I’m serious. Do you know how long I have had to deal with Kyle and others laughing at me in gym class, humiliating me, picking me last for everything, and calling me names? I’m not athletic, so what? Schools will cut out art and music classes but not sports or P.E. Those are so important! If you’re not good in sports you’re a weak loser. In my case a four-eyed loser! I just got so sick of it and Kyle kept pushing and pushing me. I swear I saw red and just lost it. I decked him and sat on top of him and let him have it. I don’t even remember the gym teacher trying to pull me off and shoving him away. I actually think I went insane. I don’t really remember it. Mr. Hoister and a couple of students pulled me off and got me to calm down. Now you probably think I’m a monster.”
“No… wow. I’m sorry they pushed you so far that you lost it,” Eli said. “Why didn’t you tell me it was so bad for you?”
“Really? I’m such a loser that I’m going to whine to a girl about how mean the other boys are to me?”
“Sawyer, I’m your friend. Friends can talk about that stuff. It doesn’t make you a loser, geez. Maybe if you had talked to me you wouldn’t have lost it,” Eli suggested.
“I don’t know, I probably still would have lost it even if I talked about it,” I said. I got my brush ready to paint Zangeon’s pointy ears.
“I thought fighting got you suspended at our school,” Eli added.
“Yeah well, that card was on the table. My Mom explained how the kids had pushed me too far. Then Principal Callahan brought up my dropping grades, my less than respectable attitude, some classes I skipped, and apparently someone has ratted me out for littering. Callahan suggested instead of suspension she had a small group of students that she was going to try out some special Saturday detentions with. My Mom sure jumped at that opportunity. She thought I would be making up school work and studying though. Not beautifying the school.”
Eli laughed. “I so have to see you working as a junior janitor. That would be so hilarious.”
“Hahaha, real hilarious,” I said not amused at all.
“Lighten up, it’s not forever. Unless you end up enjoying it and grow up to be a janitor,” she teased.
“Are you done now?” I asked.
“I guess since you seemed to have lost your sense of humor,” Eli said picking up another figurine. “Why? Why do woman warriors have to be so… so…. She needs a turtle neck shirt. I beg of you, can I please paint over her chest area?”
“Whatever,” I said smiling.
Eli grabbed a tube of gold paint. She saw me looking at her. “What? She can be glamorous, but she will be appropriately dressed.
“Fine with me,” I said and went back to painting elf ears.
“Hey, can you get me a soda?” Eli asked.
“Oh Bosworth! Bosworth!” I yelled. “Oh that’s right, my butler has the night off. Sorry you’re out of luck.”
“Oh, hardy- har-har! You are so lazy you won’t even get your friend a soda?” Eli asked trying to make me feel guilty no doubt.
“You know where they are. Help yourself,” I said.
Eli got up. “Fine, be that way. You sir are no gentleman. I’ll be right back.”
“Can you grab me a soda while you’re down there?” I asked.
“Ha! No way,” she said.
I was 99.5 % sure she would bring me one. It turns out I was 99.5% mistaken. I may have to reevaluate our friendship.
“You know I think we should let Oliver bring D&D 4th edition next time we play,” Eli said between sips of soda.
“No way, that is not Dungeons & Dragons the way it is meant to be played,” I argued.
“Yes it is. It’s better and improved but the same. Except I hear the classes are better balanced and the fighting is easier.”
“Eli, please. Have you even played that version yet? You can’t even explain the fighting scenes realistically and the monster facts are all mixed up. Plus, it’s not even D20 anymore! They ruined the system. The 4th edition stinks.” I said.
“Have you tried it? It is supposed to be simpler and easier, especially if you have people like Chris that haven’t really played role playing games before,” explained Eli.
“I tried to play it once. It just isn’t D&D. It changes it too much. Plus I wouldn’t even call it a role playing game. It becomes just any game.”
“Whatever. I bet Sawyer means stubborn,” Eli said.
“Actually I think it means wood cutter, so there,” I told her.
Eli started laughing. “You a wood cutter?!” More laughter.
“Glad you are so amused,” I said sarcastically. “What does Eleanor mean? One who annoys others?”
“Ha-ha! Actually the meaning is unknown. I think it’s French or something. Let’s go play Zelda!”
“Okay. Just let me finish up here with my elf,” I said.
Friday night I got into bed dreading my second Saturday detention tomorrow. I had better not have to scrape gum off of the under part of desks again. Hopefully I get to paint the foyer wall. I wish we could paint something cool on the wall. Like dragons and warriors. Or even our school mascot a mountain lion. Unfortunately we will probably be stuck painting the whole wall boring white.
I grabbed a book off my nightstand. Artemis Fowl: The Lost Colony. I got ready to get lost in the fifth book of the series.
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