He looked down at his shaking hands. Trembling. T
hat’s what they
were doing. Trembling. He knew, just knew, that he only had oneshot
and it would make all the difference in the world.The schoolyard was covered in snow, the students, in parkasand brightly-colored jackets. It was twenty-six degrees outside.Probably sixty in the cafeteria. He was burning up.People milled about, directionless in the crowded cafeteria.They saw a boy in a chair with a tray full of food. They sawanother blue uniform and another mesh backpack in a room full of
blue uniforms and mesh backpacks. They didn’t see anything.
It was time. His life had come down to this single moment, aparagraph in his life that would define the whole book. He
glanced at his wrist. He wasn’t wearin
g a watch, he realized.Again. He bit his lip and pushed out his kid-sized chair outfrom the little table. He left the miniscule tray where it satand walked a million tiny steps across the room until he reachedher table.A whisper circled the table, a spreading wildfire thatthreatened to scorch him. There she was.The girl with the big blue eyes and the big red heart lookedup and saw him standing there. The eyes drew him; there was noescaping those pretty eyes. The boy smiled a stupid smile, just