All I'm going to say about this chapter is that it is the shortest, dullest installment I've ever written. Enough said.

The cafeteria had been buzzing with conversation, the day everybody first found out about Alvin and Brittany. He, she, Blue Clad and Jeanette had all been gathered around a small lunch table on the far side of the school café, along with two others. On a normal day, it would have been Alvin and Brittany keeping the table's discussion going; but today they both remained mute. Instead, Jeanette and a small, heavyset girl in a lime sundress were working hard to fill the quiet. Both acted as though they didn't feel the apparent awkwardness of the situation, alternatively choosing to speak of lighter, more trivial matters; such as their plans for homecoming. Jeanette was telling of her arrangements with someone named Simon, while Sundress complained how "he" hadn't asked her to the dance yet. At first, they had been desperately trying to include the others, asking them things like, "what do you think, Brittany?" or "how about it, Alvin?" but quickly realized no one else was talking and limited the conversation to themselves. Alvin and Brittany were too busy sulking, Blue Clad was studying them, and the boy in the Emerald Polo was trying to decide whether or not it was safe to ask what the matter was. The six of them kept doing this, until Sundress eventually gave up on the charade. "What's wrong, Alvin?"

Alvin, who had his face buried in his fist, grumbled, "Uggg… Why do people always have to make such a big deal out of things?"

"The way you say 'it's not a big deal' is what makes it a big deal," Blue Clad informed. He, himself, had been trying to get a very depressed Alvin to talk all morning, and jumped at the opportunity to explain why.

"How does that make any sense?" Alvin turned on his counterpart.

"If you'd just keep calm and tell us nothing's wrong, no one would care."

"Alvin is never calm. He's an insensitive jerk." Ten eyes turned to address Brittany, who was just then speaking for the first time that day. There was an awkward silence as they all looked between her and each other, desperately trying to decide how to react.

"Girl talk!" Sundress finally announced. Without hesitation, she and Jeanette were to their feet, dragging Brittany along behind them; leaving the boys alone.


The rest of the afternoon was spent together in elusion. Blue Clad never pressed any further, and Alvin didn't try to explain himself. Instead, they finished their ice-cream over meaningless small talk, and went to study at the library there after. While Blue Clad tried to teach Alvin how to solve algorithms, Alvin thought only of Brittany, and what he was supposed to do now. And even more importantly, he thought of what he was going to do now. More than once, Blue Clad contemplated asking Alvin of his cerebration, knowing full well it wasn't of math, but never did. Instead he kept spitting out pointless instruction, and pretty much did all of Alvin's homework for him. They were just about finished when Blue Clad's cell phone began to vibrate in his pocket. He picked it up, and checked the name that flashed across the front of the screen: Jeanette.

"Hello?" he answered.

"Simon!" the voice on the other end panicked. "Brittany's not home!"