The Stupid Boy and the Outsider Chapter 22
I was wrestling with Nick and Frankie when Maya said something about a watch.
"What watch?" I asked as Nick got up to check it out.
"This isn't dads. It says 'Miller' on it."
"Oh my gosh," Jackie said. It looked like her eyes were gonna pop out of her head.
"What? What is it?" I asked her.
"Joe!" She yelled taking it from Nick to look at it herself. "This is Principal Miller's watch."
I just gave her a confused look. "Why do you look so worried?"
"This is Principal Miller's stolen watch."
"Oh," I said.
"Oh?" She repeated sounding frustrated. "Oh! What do you mean oh!?!"
"Jackie calm down," Maya said.
"How did this get here?" Jackie asked.
"I guess Frankie must have swiped it when I got in trouble for fighting. Frankie, did you take that watch?" I asked him.
"Dat mine yoyo," Frankie said.
Jackie knelt down to where Isat on the floor with Frankie sitting in my lap. "Frankie, this isn't yours... and it's not a yoyo." She said it in a nice voice, but I could tell she was freaking out inside. "Joe and I could get in a lot of trouble if we don't give it back. Can we give it back?" Joe and I? Why would she add herself in there?
Frankie nodded his head and Jackie sighed. "I don't think we should tell Kevin or our parents about this. I think Joe and I can handle it ourselves," she told Nick and Maya. They just nodded.
"Don't worry about it. We'll just go to Mr. Miller tomorrow, give it back, and explain the whole thing. I'm sure he'll understand." That was simple enough.
--- --- --- ---
It wasn't simple.
When we got to school Jackie checked the bulletin board to see if she got a spot in the contest.
"So did you make it?" Berna asked from behind me.
"Oh hey guys. When did you get here?" Jackie asked.
"Umm... just now. We saw each other in the parking lot." She looked a little nervous. "So did you make it?"
"Yeah, right there in black and white," Jackie said with a sigh. I gave her a nudge. "Oh! Umm... we have something to do so we'll see you guys later."
When we were farther down the hall I said, "Sure Jackie, why don't you just tell them there's something wrong." She just glared at me. "You don't even have to worry about this watch thing. It'll be fine."
When we got to the office we saw a couple cops talking to Mr. Miller right outside his office. I turned to see the panic on Jackie's face and I got a little worried too. So, we did the only thing we could think of. We turned around and sped walked to class.
"Do you think that was obvious?" Jackie asked me.
"Probably, but they probably didn't see us," I assured her.
While I sat in homeroom Imade sure to pay attention to the morning bulletin.
"Once again we'd like to mention that Principal Miller's pocket watch is still missing," one of the multi-media students announced. "This morning the authorities were called to look for any possible clues. Unfortunately, because of the amount of students and staff that have been into the office, it leaves no possible clues to be found. If you know anything about Principal Miller's stolen watch please call Crimestoppers at 955-8300." I stopped listening after that.
Did he really have to get the police involved? This was definitely gonna be harder than I thought.
I walked up to Jackie as she put her books in her locker. I tapped her on the shoulder and she practically jumped out of her skin.
"Calm down it's just me," I said to her.
"Sorry I'm just nervous."
"Well stop. You're making yourself look suspicious."
"It's hard not to, I mean he's calling people that have been in his office in for interrogation."
"What are you talking about?" How'd she hear about this?
"It was on the morning bulletin." I guess I stopped listening before that. "You know the guy that peed in the bush on the first day? He's already been called in. It's only a matter of time before you and JD get called in for your grilling."
"It's okay," I said. "JD doesn't know anything about it."
"And what about you?"
"Well, I'll just have to put the experience I gained on Broadway to good use." Jackie shook her head letting out a light laugh as she closed her locker.
Just then I saw Kristine walking towards us. Maybe she's not walking towards us. Maybe she's just gonna walk past us... but of course I'm wrong.
Kristine walked right up to me and asked, "Can I talk to you?" She looked over at Jackie and said, "Alone."
"I'll just be over there," Jackie said before walking away.
"So you dumped me for Jackie?" Kristine asked when Jackie wasn't in hearing range.
"I didn't dump you for anyone," I told her.
"So then why are you so buddy-buddy with her all of a sudden? I thought you weren't talking to her anymore."
"Jackie's my friend and Ididn't have a reason to be mad at her."
"Fine," she said, but she didn't sound fine. "When are you gonna realize that Jackie is bad news and get back together with me?"
I took a deep breath to calm myself a little. "I don't know," I said. I just ignored the first part of her question. "There's a lot going on, the CD the guys and I are working on is no where near finished, we're still writing songs, we have a school tour, actually, that was cancelled because I got in that fight with JD, so we're all thinking the band's going nowhere fast and on top of it I have all my school stuff." I took another deep breath and said, "I just can't have a girlfriend right now."
"Okay... I'll see you around,"she said before walking away. She looked really upset, but I really don't like her the way she likes me anymore. Besides she hates some of my best friends, so she definitely wasn't the one for me.
I walked over to where Jackie stood, talking to JD and Berna.
"What's going on?" I asked.
"Berna's crazy," Jackie whispered, but loud enough for Berna to hear, jokingly.
"There's been something we've been hiding from you," Berna said ignoring Jackie's sarcasm and looking serious.
"We?" JD asked.
Berna rolled her eyes. "Fine, I've been hiding it, but I told JD to keep it a secret. I didn't want to tell you and have you get upset... not like you were here when it happened."
"Now she's trying to blame me for all this," Jackie said to me.
"I'm trying to tell you the only secret I've kept from you and you're making jokes?" She was starting to get a crazy look on her face, but it was more funny than scary.
"Okay, okay," Jackie said laughing, "Tell me this big secret."
"Well... JD and I are... dating."I don't know if JD knew of Jackie's crush on him, but Berna and I did, which is probably why she kept it a secret.
"See, I told you she wouldn't be mad," JD told Berna.
"Why would I?" Jackie asked. "Berna deserves a nice guy that will treat her right and not like trash like all those others have." Berna pulled Jackie into a hug.
I wonder if Jackie really was okay with this. She was pretty good at hiding her emotions.
"So," she said, "how'd this happen?"
"How about we talk about that later," Berna said pulling Jackie toward the cafe and JD and I followed.
"Just tell her already," I said rolling my eyes. "JD was there so he already knows and he's gonna tell me eventually so I'll hear about it anyway."
Berna turned around to give me a dirty look before turning back to Jackie and telling her the whole story. Apparently JD was there for Berna when Jackie wasn't; then again she was a part of the problem.
"He kept me sane when you practically disappeared," Berna explained. "He was just so sweet."
"The things that can happen in two days," Jackie said with a laugh.
When we got to the cafe I pulled Jackie to the side. "Are you really okay with this?" I asked.
"I guess so. I mean I don't feel jealous or angry. I gave up on the whole me and JD thing a while ago anyway," she said. "And besides, I'm more concerned about that stolen watch in your locker than anything else."
She had a point. We had other things to worry about.