When Connor went to see Charles the next day Madison was there, sitting and talking quietly with his friend. Connor turned to leave but they looked up and saw him so he forced a smile on his face and wandered over.
"Hey," Charles said.
"I can come back later. I didn't realize you had company."
"That's OK," she said, "I was just leaving. I'll see you soon, OK, Charles?"
"Yeah, sure, thanks for stopping."
They watched her leave. Connor handed Charles a stack of homework.
"For me? You shouldn't have."
"You two friends now?"
"That's what happens, you know. Hang out with someone's friends, they become your friends. I'm not gonna dump her just because you did."
"I'm not asking you to," Connor said, though he felt a bit betrayed nonetheless. He reached into his backpack and pulled out a box. "Here. I got you something."
"More homework?" Charles said, and Connor was glad to see him smile. He opened the box. "Oh, man, thanks! I've been wanting this." It was a new racing game for Charles's gaming machine.
"I thought maybe we could find yet another game in which I kick your ass on a regular basis," Connor said.
"What do you mean, another game? You haven't found one yet, deluded boy."
"May I?" Connor asked, holding up the game.
"Whatchu waiting for?" Charles wheeled his chair over to the television.
Connor put the game into the machine and the tournament was on.Next Chapter