Chapter 1 - Part 1

God, I hate Mondays.

John sat at his usual spot in the cafeteria, eating the school breakfast. Today's was called an omelet. In the most basic definition, it was. Made of egg, folded in half, cheese inside. John spiced it up by drowning it in ketchup. Helped a little.

At least the hash brown was okay.

The Hazel Park High School cafeteria wasn't filled at the moment. But, then, breakfast was never crowded. John scanned the room, seeing the usual groups the congregated here before classes started. The group of kids who played that weird monster card game; the kids who used this time to cram more for the coming finals; the kids who spent their mornings making a couple extra bucks by playing euchre.

"Hey, Johnny!"

John turned his head towards the source of the voice. A slightly lanky boy, average height, with a rather large nose. Short blond hair, and dark brown eyes. Today, he wore a blue shirt with the number "42" on it, and loose jeans.

"Hey, Pete," John replied with a wave.

Pete sat across the small square table and eyed John's plate. "How can you eat that stuff, man? Look like one of those Dr. Scholl's insole things."

John grinned. "Beats their excuse for bacon, at least."

Pete nodded sagely. "True, true. So, you ready for finals?"

John shudders. "Oh God no. I don't think anybody is." He stabs the egg and ketchup mess with his fork and takes a bite. Mmm...ketchup.

"Well, at least band won't be so bad." Pete leans back and places his hands behind his head. "Just a couple of pieces, nothing too bad."

"Speak for yourself, Mr. First Chair."

Pete grins. "Aw, Johnny get hurt?"

John nods. "Yeah. Stupid broken hand..."

"I told you that catching a watermelon from a roof was a bad idea."

"Didn't stop you from dropping it."

"What can I say? I thought you should learn a lesson." Pete gives an innocent smile.

John was about to say something, but then the first bell rang.

"See you in band!" Pete grins, gets up, and takes off for his locker.

John grumbles a little to himself, tosses the remains of his creation into the trash, and heads to English.