â€śDid you hear any rumors about the new teacher?â€ť I asked Kimber.
â€śI saw Tyler,â€ť she said. â€śHe told me that he heard sheâ€™s mean and gives lots of homework.â€ť
â€śWhat does Tyler know? Remember, he fell down five hundred steps last summer and landed on his head.â€ť I giggled. â€śProbably has a piece of his brain missing.â€ť
â€śI never heard about that,â€ť Kimber said with a suspicious smirk on her face.
Maybe Kimber thought I was embellishingâ€”which I wasâ€”but just a little. It was true that Tyler fell. He even got stitches. But he only fell down a few steps. He didnâ€™t lose any of his brain either, just a chip off his front tooth. He had stepped on a skateboard and flew off the porch. Those messy curls must have blocked his vision.
â€śIt must have been the summer before Mrs. Murphyâ€™s second-grade class,â€ť I said. â€śYou didnâ€™t know him then. Anyway, I was the smartest kid in our fourth grade class, and Mrs. Murphyâ€™s favorite. Hopefully, Mrs. Murphy left that information in my records for the new teacher. â€śIâ€™m not a bit worried.â€ť
â€śYou werenâ€™t the smartest. Evans Ames was the smartest. And Lauren was her favorite,â€ť Kimber said.
â€śWell, maybe second smartestâ€”and second favorite.â€ť
Kimber rolled her eyes and twisted her mouth so her freckles stretched into short gingerbread smiles. â€śWhatever!â€ť she said.
Evan Ames didnâ€™t look smart, but he was a straight-A student. Kids teased him because his clothes didnâ€™t match and his mother cut his hair. After everyone found out how smart he was he gained respect. He also gained a ton of candy if he let you copy his homework. Thatâ€™s probably why his two front teeth rotted out.
His mom drives him to school in a puke-green, two-seater car.
I always wondered where his dad sat when he rode in the car. Then I found out he didnâ€™t have a dad. Soon, I found out many kids like Evan went to our school, only not all as smart. My heart hurt for those kids. I couldnâ€™t imagine not having my dad.
â€śHow was your summer?â€ť Kimber asked.
â€śDisney World was great!â€ť
â€śI thought you went on a cruise?â€ť Kimber said, and squinted her beady eyes at me.
â€śI did. I stopped at Disney for a couple of weeks. I even met Mr. Disney.â€ť
Kimberâ€™s smile returned, and she seemed excited that I met Mr. Disney. I knew Walt Disney was dead, and I prepared to say I was only joking if she called me on it. But she didnâ€™t.
â€śWow! Whatâ€™s he like?â€ť Kimber fixed her eyes on me whileď€‡ she twirled the end of her pigtail.
â€śHeâ€™s very nice,â€ť I said. â€śHe gave everyone in my family free ice cream. I also went to Epcot. It was great! Except for this movie I saw about how the world was made.â€ť
â€śWhat do you mean?â€ť she asked.
â€śSome science guy said that the entire world made itself. He even said people were created from a big bang of energy. My dad was so mad she wanted to leave.â€ť
â€śBecause the science guy was lyingâ€”everybody knows God made the world.
Kimber looked confused. â€śThatâ€™s not what my dad said. He said that after the bang happened, the dinosaurs cameâ€”and after that, the apes cameâ€”then we came from the apes.â€ť
Kimber lifted her chin and grinned like her dad was right and mine was wrong.
â€śI even went to the Museum of Natural History and saw pictures of ape-people.â€ť
â€śWere they real picturesâ€”taken with a camera?â€ť I asked.
â€śWell, no, how could they be? They didnâ€™t have cameras back then.â€ť
â€śExactly! I donâ€™t look like an ape. You donâ€™t look like an ape.â€ť Maybe Tyler looks like an ape. â€śIf we came from apes, why are apes still around? Why didnâ€™t all the apes turn into people?â€ť
Kimberâ€™ eyes rolled upwards, like she thought her brain would drop the correct answer into her mind. â€śYou got a point.â€ť