"Come on, Melvin. We have one more day with Harold before he leaves for the WHOLE summer!", explained George on the phone as he bounced up and down on his bed. He became annoyed when he heard a sigh on the other end. "Come on, man! What's your problem?"
Melvin who had remained locked inside his lab was swirling around in his chair, glancing at his many weapons and blueprints. "It's, it's just that I've been working on something, a new device, and I want it to work perfectly. It has to be perfect, George. And I mean, I'm pretty sure Harold doesn't want me there."
"But we do, you Dork. Put your magic ovens on hold and come to the movies with us. Grab Tuck on your way, too. The new "Bat-hroom Man" is playing today. Then we can go to eat at that pizza place afterwards."
"Melvin, we both want you there. We're worried about you. You need to get out more. This will be good for all of us. It will be better than those Saturdays we had to spend at the Conventions."
"Hey! Those were fun!", yelled Melvin, standing up and exiting his lab, taking one last look at the loose pieces of his new invention. He closed the door, entered his house and walked up to his room to change into his gray t-shirt and black pants. His eyes lingering on his former colorful clothing, but decided against it.
George rolled his eyes. "For you! So are you in or what?"
"Yeah, I'm in. We'll be at your house in a few", said Melvin, hanging up.
Over at the Hutchins house, it was the same; quiet (minus Heidi's constant whining).
Harold thought long and hard as he watched his mother trying to keep herself together instead of crying over the fact that her little boy would be away from her. He wanted to talk to her about it, but kept silent and played with his Eggos, placing mini blueberries and pieces of gum in the small squares.
"Mom?", he began. As soon as he saw her tear-stained face, he quickly changed the subject on what he was thinking. "I'll miss you mom. It'll be okay", he lied. He didn't want to go with Harrison. But his mother insisted it would be good for Harold. Perhaps they could bond after all these years apart. Harold thought that was ridiculous. His father left them. Why would he want to reconnect?
"I'll miss you too, Harold", she said, hugging him.
When she let go of him, Harold thought about George. He knew his best friend was strong. But could he be strong enough to survive without Harold? Now Harold was the one who began to tear up. He would never do that to George.
Harold was always the one that GOT left. Now he had to be the one that was leaving?
His friends were at the front door. After hugging his mom and sister goodbye, Harold ran out the door and hugged George.
At first it was awkward for the four of them to start a conversation.
But after a while, they began to talk like they had months before. The best of friends.
They passed the playground and walked up the street that led to the movie theater.
Tuck playfully nudged Melvin. "Shut up, Mel. Captain Underpants would definitely win against Godzilla!"
"Please! With one stomp of his foot, that monster would destroy him!", argued Melvin.
"Pfff. George, Harold? You created the guy. What do you think?", asked Tuck as he jumped over a messed up crack on the sidewalk.
"Honestly, you guys can think what you want", said George.
"We're always open to interpretations", said Harold.
Crossing the street and turning a corner, Melvin immediately ran into someone that was just as shocked and annoyed that they had been shoved.
Harold and Tuck caught the flaying Melvin before he fell backwards just as he attempted to straighten his glasses.
The person that had been an accidental barrier turned around. It was a girl. She looked furious. The fact that she was a girl calmed the boys down. She was the same height as them, looked around 11, but the expression on her face and the way she crossed her arms made them nervous. Her long black hair ran all the way down to her back, and her bangs covered her eyes. She brushed them away. "I figured with those glasses you'd actually be able to see", she said as a matter of factly.
"Maybe you shouldn't stand where people are trying to walk", demanded Tuck, always prepared to stand up for his friends. He took a step towards the girl.
George got between them. "Cool it", he said, putting his arms outward. "No need for an altercation today. It's supposed to be a fun day."
"It was. Until this Samara wannabe charged into Mel, here", said Tuck, placing a hand on Melvin's shoulder.
The girl relaxed, shoving her hands in her pockets, looking less defensive. "You saw "The Ring", too?"
"My favorite movie of all time", said Tuck.
"Mine too", said the girl. Her mouth starting to smile but didn't.
Tuck looked at her weird. He had never met another girl that liked horror movies like he did. All the other sissies screamed and wet their pants. But this girl liked them.
Harold noticed Tuck's face. He was looking at this girl like, like, how could he explain it? Well, they best way he could describe it was how in that movie, "The Little Mermaid", it was like how Ariel and Eric always looked at each other.
The girl turned towards Melvin. "Hey, I'm sorry. I know you didn't mean to run into me. It was an accident", she said, genuinely trying to sound kind. Admiring how his dark clothes matched hers.
But Melvin merely shook his head, a hardened expression on his face.
"You're that new girl from school!", exclaimed George. "The girl who wrote that poem about Zombies!", he said, remembering how all the kids in their grade had to read an original poem about something they loved in front of the entire school.
"I heard you got detention for that! Is it true?", asked an impressed Harold.
"Yeah", she sighed. "Apparently Krupp decided it wasn't realistic enough", she smirked.
"Well, anyone who disobeys Krupp is cool with me!", said George. "I'm George. This is Harold, that's Tuck, and Melvin", he said, pointing to each boy.
Tuck was still staring at her and smiling. When she looked at him, his face was turning as red as his hair.
"I'm Ida", she said. "Were you guys going to the movies? I LOVE Bat-hroom Man! He's so much better than Su-pooper Man."
"Yeah! You can come with us if you like!", said Tuck.
"And maybe afterwards you could hang with us for pizza. I might have a job offer for you if you're interested in comic books. The way you write poetry, it could be an upgrade to our business", said George.
"Comic books?", said Ida as she, George and Tuck walked side by side up to the theater. "What are you? Dorks?", she smirked, jokingly.
Harold and Melvin followed the three. Harold couldn't help but notice Melvin was glaring at Ida.
"Are you okay with this?", asked Melvin. His voice was stricter than normal.
Harold shrugged his shoulders. "She seems okay. Aren't you okay wi-"
"I didn't agree to it", said Melvin as he continued to glare at her behind her back.
"What's wrong with you?", asked Harold.
"She's ruining everything. We already have 'The Five'. She's not joining our crew. She's ruining everything..." said Melvin as he picked up the pace. Leaving Harold to slowly follow.
Harold concluded that Melvin meant he was mad at the fact that the guys were okay letting another girl into their crew.