This week on Adam and the Ants:
I felt the tears welling up. I couldn't let all of these people see me cry. We would all be starting high school in less than two months! If anyone saw me crying today, I would never live it down.
Remembering how watching the ant farm always calmed me down, I tried to think of an excuse to go upstairs. I would only have a moment or two before Mom lit the candles the candles and brought the cake out.
"Um... uhh... excuse me for a moment, everyone," I stammered. I clumsily worked my way through the crowd toward the stairs.
"You okay, pal?" Brett asked as I passed. He had been chatting with Cindy Harris, one of Charlotte's East Middle friends.
"Everything is fine," I stated, perhaps a bit too enthusiastically. "I'll be right back."
There is no way to hurry up or down steps on crutches, but I tried anyway. I could feel most of my guests watching me wrangle my way upstairs. I felt my ears redden with embarrassment at the thought, but kept going. Finally I reached the landing, out of sight from the audience below, and made my way to my room.
The moment I sat down at my desk, the stress began to melt away. "Thanks, guys," I said to the denizens of the farm. "I thought I could handle myself without Charlotte here, but I guess I was wrong."
Then that weird thing happened again. The thing where the voice in my head spoke...