Simon Says

Simon Says by Elaine Marie Alphin Read Free Book Online

Book: Simon Says by Elaine Marie Alphin Read Free Book Online
Authors: Elaine Marie Alphin
captain of our baseball team, and he's the best pitcher we have. I play second base, and we've got the timing down for awesome double plays. It's a fun sport, but I probably won't keep playing in high school. Ballplayers there are thinking about playing baseball in college, maybe even going on to the minors, and I'm not that serious. It's just a game, just for fun.
    I guess I haven't really shown a reader much about Mike, have I? Well, he's taller than me, and he's got brown hair that he wears kind of long, with a braided pigtail in the back, and he's got these big brown eyes. He sings in the school choir, like me, but his voice is starting to break and that bugs him a lot He's easygoing about most things, though, and he's pretty smart, especially about animals. His dad takes him hunting, and he knows all about different kinds of animals and where to find them. I went with them once, but I decided I didn't really like it, and Mom was horrified at the thought of me going hunting. I can't tell whether Mike likes it himself, or if he just says he does because his dad likes it He probably likes being with his dad all alone, without his mom or his sister around.
    Mike doesn't like school much, even though he's smart He'd rather play baseball or soccer. He's a terrific pitcher, but he's not so great at kicking the ball. I don't say anything, though, just go to his soccer games and cheer. And I don't tell him I like school pretty well myself. He'd just think I was weird, and I like playing baseball with him okay. Anyway, ifs not important The way to keep a friend is by just doing what they want-l mean, as long as it doesn't really matter.
    School—yeah, I like it Actually, I like the teachers more than the other kids, mostly anyway. My homeroom teacher this year is Mr. Lester, and he talks to me about all sorts of stuff. He was trying to teach me how to speed-read the other day, and that was pretty interesting. I didn't really want to learn (actually, I like reading every word in a book and getting totally involved in the story), but I didn't want to hurt his feelings. He's old, with thinning gray hair. But he's got these bright blue eyes, and he's really smart We talk about all kinds of things, stuff that doesn't have anything to do with school. He's married, but he's only got daughters. Maybe he likes talking to a boy sometimes.
    Then there's this one English teacher, Mr. Shaw. All the kids jump all over him, but I kind of like him. I go in to talk to him during lunch period sometimes. I think he's scared to eat in the cafeteria. He tells me about Shakespeare, because I told him I liked Shakespeare. What"s a guy who likes Shakespeare doing teaching middle school, anyway? He should be in a college somewhere, where ifs safe. He's about twenty-five, I guess, with blond hair and hazel-green eyes, and he wears glasses and looks spooked most of the time-l guess because he knows the kids trash him behind his back. But he's got a nice-looking face when he relaxes, and he smiles at me whenever he sees me in the hall. I almost wish he was my English teacher-except I wouldn't want to let on that I liked him in front of everybody else.
    Ifs easier when you're one-on-one with someone. You can see what they're like, and what they expect of you. That makes things easier than being with a bunch of people who are all different Maybe I should practice writing about
crowds, like the guys on the baseball team, or the whole choir, or the whole seventh grade at assembly!
    But that's all I have time to write now. I like describing people I know. If's like looking through a window to see what someone's doing when he doesn't know you're looking. And I can do it by just sitting back and seeing inside my own head.


    "You'll find things here different than what you're accustomed to, Charles," Mr. Brooks tells me. "More structured."
    He smiles patiently. Acting laid-back in jeans and a baggy sweater (despite the sticky heat outside, his office is a

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