Chapter 3W

“So you don’t feel lonely anymore?” asked Double-J, finally looking at Butch’s reflection in the rearview mirror. Butch smiled contentedly, like a man savoring an enjoyable dinner, and shook his head.

Why are you so afraid to speak? asked Annie. Because the words I use are never what I mean answered Kassandra. Coach Dan said if people didn’t understand her that was their problem, but Kassandra shook her head, They understand the words I am saying correctly, but the words I use are not correct. I feel like I’m a different person when I speak, that I’m one person when I think and another person when I speak, and the two people are never the same, and they can’t never get together and agree on anything. Annie cleared her throat, asked if what she was speaking now was what she was thinking. Kassandra thought a moment, said Yes, they’re the same, and Coach Dan said, see what happens when you stand up for yourself, it’s like fencing he said, I’m always telling everyone to be aggressive, don’t sit back and wait for your opponent to come at you, take the initiative. Kassandra shook her head, said Thank you, but it’s not going to work today.

“Yeah, I’ve been looking forward to this tournament since last spring,” said Bernie. “Want to prove to hot-shot up there,” thumbing in Double-J’s direction, “that last spring wasn’t a fluke.”

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