Chapter 5 – January 4B

The voices and footfalls seemed louder to The Bird, as she stared back at Butch. No, she said, her name’s —

“Oh! Gertrude’s the character she’s playing! She’s the mother, right?”

Yes, replied The Bird, speaking slowly. My mother is Hamlet’s mother, she added, then immediately hoped Butch wouldn’t ask if Hamlet was her brother.

“Oh!” The confusion in Butch’s face seemed to ease, like a passing storm. “So am I supposed to ride up with you?”

The hall bell rang loudly, and the pace of footfalls increased. She’s picking me up right after school, so no. Mr. Jacobs told the team to meet in the parking lot at five.

“Oh! You mean Coach Dan, right?”

The Brid looked around her quickly. The class she needed to be in was close. Look, she said, I have to go.

“OK. You know he likes to be called Coach Dan at practice, right?”

The Bird had already turned, taken a step in her classroom’s direction. She stopped, partiallt faced Butch. Only the fencing team calls him that.

The grey cloud of confusion crossed over Butch’s face again. “But — you’re on the team, right?”

This time The Bird did not turn back to Butch. No, she almost whispered, I only show up at practice.

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