[Note: BOYS & GIRLS: PART II is under production, and this preview may contain lines and content that do not reach the final book. In addition, this book assumes that you have read PART I all the way through. You can read more about Part I here.]
September 4th, 2005
Kinsky, California, USA
A young child with messy blonde hair and stormy blue eyes looked out the window of his parent’s car into the unfamiliarity of the scene before him. There was a playground, with kids playing and laughing, running around, sitting together, enjoying themselves. The boy looked out at it and wondered if he could ever do it himself.
“It will be a little hard, since you’re coming in the middle of the year,” his mother said, sensing his trepidation. “But you’ll find friends. I know you will.”
The boy took one last affirming look at his mother, and then walked out into the cold fall morning. Right before he was about to close the car door, his mother said one last thing.
“I love you, Lukas.”
The boy turned to look at her. “I love you too, mom.”
His mother smiled, and closed the car door. Lukas went into the playground and began to walk over to where he had been told earlier. As he passed by he looked up and noticed a large sign that hung on the school with the words KINSKY ELEMENTARY SCHOOL – HOME OF THE SHARKS.
The morning had ended up rough. For starters, Lukas had unknowingly gone to the wrong area and joined the wrong line out of morning recess – all the way into the classroom itself. When the teacher did roll call, she looked at the boy skeptically. Lukas’ communication skills were poor, but eventually the two figured out that he was in fact meant to be in the classroom next door. When Lukas walked into the second room, they were already in the middle of class. He stood there, unsure about interrupting, until one of the students pointed out the “weird kid standing at the doorway”, and the teacher realized that he must be the new student. He got assigned a seat in the back, and finally sat down – his cheeks were red, partially from the cold but mostly from embarrassment.
After this traumatic opening experience, the boy didn’t bother to try and talk to anyone else. He mostly kept to himself, hoping to recover enough from the experience that people didn’t permanently see him now as the weird kid. But when it came time for lunch recess, the experience began to grate on him. He once again saw everyone playing and laughing, running around, sitting together, enjoying themselves. And here he was, on a bench, alone. For the first time that day, he felt sad. Nothing but sad.
“Psst, hey. Hey!”
Lukas kicked up some rocks on the ground. He noticed a beetle crawling by itself near his foot, and briefly wondered if it was as lonely as he was.
“Hey, you! With the blonde hair!”
The boy suddenly noticed the sharp whispers that seemed to be addressing him. He looked around but didn’t notice anybody.
“Yes, you! Over here, this way!”
The voice was coming to his left. He turned in that direction, and now realized that behind a chunk of shrubbery, a young boy was hiding. He was around Lukas’ age, with short wavy brown hair and a set of hazel eyes to match. Once Lukas spotted him, he made himself clearly visible.
“You’re the new kid, right?” the brown-haired boy asked. “Lukas, or whatever?”
Lukas nodded. “Yeah, I am.”
The boy took a few suspicious glances around, then got a bit closer to Lukas. “Good, that means I can trust you,” he began. “You see, I’m the leader of the Boy’s Club.”
Lukas gave him a funny look. “Boy’s Club?”
“Yeah. There’s a Girl’s Club, led by Cindy Indigo, and there’s a Boy’s Club, led by me. Our two clubs have been at war with one another for a hundred years – well, I mean, I haven’t been around for those hundred years. But you get what I’m saying.”
The young boy now stood directly in front of Lukas, looking down at him. Lukas looked up at him.
“Now, I used to have a spy within the Girl’s Club ranks, but he betrayed me. But you – you’re brand new, so Cindy and the others won’t be any wiser if you try to join them as a ‘boy ally’. So… you wanna help us defeat the girls?”
For the first time that day, a smile grew on Lukas’ face. He no longer felt out of place. He felt this was his chance.
“Sure, I’ll do it.”
The boy smiled back. “Awesome! Alright, come with me – I’ll introduce you to the others and brief you on your mission.”
Lukas stood up, and the boy began to lead him to a nearby tree. But suddenly he stopped, and turned around again.
“Oh! I almost forgot to introduce myself,” he said, outstretching his hand to Lukas. “Cole. Cole Mulaney. Nice to meet ya.”
The blonde boy accepted the handshake. “Lukas Schrodden. Nice to meet you too.”
The two continued to walk down to the tree, as a clear blue sky shined above them.