Eight of Adam’s friends showed up to help him celebrate the big one-three. There was Cory McAry and Juan Villacruz (Adam’s two best friends), Mike Figgit (whom everyone called “Monkey”), Seth Bourder, Grant Willem, Carlos Marquez (whom Adam didn’t really like but had to invite because he was Grant’s best friend), Don Crane, and Leon Oliver. All of the boys were sat at the picnic table, talking, joking, eating cake, and sweating profusely.
“Man, I wish it would rain, rain, rain, rain, rain,” Mike said.
“Me too, Monkey,” said Juan. “Then I’d get to mow the lawn and help my mom in the garden again. Oh, God, please let it rain.”
“Whatever. Like your fat butt couldn’t stand to do a little work.” All the boys laughed. Juan and Monkey were quick to tease each other.
“Hey, Adam, why didn’t you invite any girls to this party?” asked Carlos. Some of the boys murmured a similar interest.
The question took Adam by surprise. He hadn’t really thought about why. “Umm…I just didn’t know who to invite,” he lied.
“Yeah, right. More like you didn’t know any to invite.” Carlos elbowed Grant and took another bite of his cake. “I dumf thinf I’f efah…” Carlos paused, swallowed, then continued, “seen you with a girl, man. What gives? You like girls, man?” A couple of the boys snickered but quickly stopped once they realized this wasn’t teasing like that between Juan and Monkey.
Adam was getting uncomfortable. He didn’t like Carlos and Carlos knew it. “I just wanted to hang out with my friends. That’s all.”
“What’s your problem, Carlos?” Cory interrupted. “It’s Adam’s birthday. Quit being a jerk.”
“Hey, I was just asking, man. Jeez.” Carlos leaned over to Grant and whispered something in his ear. Both boys laughed.
Adam looked at Cory and silently thanked him. They’d been friends since first grade and now they were about to start their last year of junior high together. Cory and Juan and Adam. The Three Musketeers, Mr. Might called them.
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