What Did They Ever Do To You?

Not A Punk Rocker is under the weather today — consider this my get-well card.

“The Academy?” The name of the school nearly spat out of Rex’s mouth, as if it were an allergen. “This Saturday?”

“Oh!” Butch’s round eyes wide, short crop of blond hair standing on end. “No, next Saturday. You going?”

Rex frowned. “It’d be good practice, you know. And it’d be good to see Hector, and JanHar. But, I dunno.” Narrow eyes blinked, looked down at Butch’s shoes.

“Oh!” Butch looked up at the ceiling like a nervous politician searching for a teleprompter. “You don’t like it there?”

“Never been there.” He tugged on the strap of his backpack, pulling it higher onto his shoulder. “Hear it’s nice, the campus, they say it’s like a college.”

“Oh! I heard that too, even though I dunno know what a college looks like.”

A slender hand reached down, squeezed Butch’s shoulder. “You should go. Gavvy, their coach, she’s great once you get past the insanity, you’ll learn a lot from her.”

“Oh! But are you gonna go?”

The hand retracted. “Nah. Just — can’t see myself being there.”

“What’s wrong?” Butch heard himself asking the question, surprised to be so forward. “What is it you don’t like about the Academy?”

Rex shook his head. “Nothing, really. A lot of people here don’t like them, think they’re elitists, but I never seen them act that way, least when I’ve been around them. There’s just this, I don’t know, this feeling I get whenever I’m around them, like they remind me of how much potential there is in the world, and how little we’ve all done in comparison.”

“Oh! So, it’s like — ” he snapped his fingers, again, the third snap seeming to ignite his face — “a Rothschild’s Test!”

The tall teen threw his head back, then held back his laughter on realizing he couldn’t provide the necessary correction.

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