think he'll change the day to Monday." The Fantastic Foursome smiled in
unison, although Funny Hawthorne seemed uncomfortable.
"Studying won't do you any good," said Melanie. "You've
got too much to learn." She and Melissa gave each other angry
"We'll see," said Laura. She turned and
headed for the door with Melissa, Tammy, and Funny following her.
"I'm glad they're gone," said Katie. "Do you
really think Mr. Neal would change the date on you, Christie?"
"I don't know. I bet they ask him to, though."
"Hey, Christie. Things are looking up," said
Melanie, nudging her. "Here comes Jon. Maybe he's going to ask you to the
Christie turned and saw Jon headed toward them. Was Melanie
right? Was he going to ask her for a date? Or was it something else? Maybe he
liked Kimm so much now that he wanted to break off everything, even his
friendship with Christie. Maybe she had been wrong to think that a boy and a
girl could just be best friends. She cringed at the thought of losing him
completely, especially now that she needed his help and his friendship so
badly. She looked questioningly at him as he approached, but she couldn't tell
anything from the expression on his face.
"I'm out of here," said Beth as Jon came toward
them. "I want to talk to Keith anyway, and you and Jon don't need us
hanging around." She puckered her lips and made a kissing sound at
"Me, too," said Melanie. "I don't want to be
near if you two decide you've had enough of this boy-girl friendship stuff. I
don't know if I could survive the explosion of your first making-up kiss."
"I'm going to sit with Jana," said Katie. "See
you all at the movies tonight."
"Boy, I sure made them scatter," said Jon as he came
up beside Christie. "Isn't my deodorant working?"
"They had people they wanted to talk to," answered
Christie. "It wasn't you."
"When you're ready, can I walk you home?" he asked.
"Can best friends do that?"
Christie almost crumpled with relief. Kimm or no Kimm, he
did still care about her. "Of course. Best friends do things like that all
the time," she said. She wanted him to really believe that she meant he
was her best friend outside of The Fabulous Five. "I'm ready to leave
anytime you are." Christie noticed people watching them as they walked out
"What's this rumor going around about your having
trouble with the Super Quiz team?" asked Jon.
Christie patiently explained it for what she thought must be
the zillionth time. She had never been so tired of talking about one thing in
her life, but she wanted Jon to understand how serious things were and just how
much she needed his help.
Jon frowned. "Everybody knows you wouldn't do a thing
like that, of course."
"Melissa McConnell and her friends are telling everyone
I did. Also, she's going to ask Mr. Neal to make a decision about whether or
not I'm on the team by Monday instead of Wednesday. She's the first alternate
and says she needs the extra time to study for the match with Trumbull."
"So even if they aren't responsible for your problem,
they're taking advantage of it," he said.
Christie nodded. "If you think of anything . . .
anything at all . . ." Her voice trailed off. She wanted to tell him how
desperately she needed his help and ask him to call her and come over and spend
all the time with her that he could while they found a way to work her problem
out. But now that he was spending time with Kimm, would he think she was simply
jealous? Or would he want to tell Kimm everything and ask for her help, too?
Christie shuddered at that thought. She certainly didn't want Kimm poking
around in her private business, but if she was Jon's girlfriend then maybe . .
Jon must have read worry in her expression because he put
his arm through hers, and they were quiet for a while as they walked along the
street leading to her house.
It was Jon who finally broke the silence. "Don't worry.
You didn't do anything wrong, and we'll prove it." Before she
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