December 4, 2004
I think I know who Derecho is.
Quite a few kids were missing when we went back to school on Monday. That's only natural, considering that lots of people travel over Thanksgiving and all, but everyone was back on Tuesday. Everyone, that is, except Derek Whitley.
He came back on Wednesday, so I asked him in science class if he'd been sick. He nodded. When I asked him what he'd been sick with, he said he had a kidney infection. And then it all started to click.
Last year, Derek was terrible at P.E., but this year, he's one of the school's top ten athletes. He beat me in a chin-up contest once. I thought it was just him growing up and wanting to impress the girls and everything, but he admitted to doing nothing but playing video games and messing around in the science lab all summer. No one goes from last place to top ten without effort.
Point two: I made my science project last year about my reverse-robotic serum. It got second place, and Derek was a runner-up. He might have gotten third if it hadn't been for me.
Point three: Derek didn't seem at all interested when someone brought up the gas station robbery at lunch. All the other boys were going crazy--"Do you know who did it?" "Are they offering a reward?" "Dude, I'd tell them it was my brother. That way, I wouldn't have to see my brother again, and I'd get some extra cash."
Plus, he's been acting weird. He doesn't touch doorknobs with his bare hands--he pulls his sleeves over his hands first. He says it's because of germs. But today, he touched the metal rim on a pencil, and I saw him jump and drop the pencil.
I don't know what to do about this. Should I confront him? Tell a teacher? What do I tell them? Will I be forced to give up my own experimenting? And what about Jackson? He hasn't been doing well since Thanksgiving--he's white and tired all the time, and Aunt Miri gave him a pizza Lunchable for lunch today. She only buys him special stuff like that when his appetite is down, and his appetite is only down when he's having a bad day. He says he has a doctor's appointment on Thursday.
I want to do one more experiment on myself. Just to make sure it's safe. Just to make sure it works. But I don't know if it's going to work or not. I might overdose and kill myself, or I might end up saving Jackson's life.
This might be my last diary entry. If it is--whoever finds and reads this, my research is in a file labeled "Robots" in my closet. Please publish it under my name. And please apologize to George and Macy. I'm sorry I ever suspected them.
Kassie Kittredge, signing out
M. J. Piazza is a Jesus-loving, dog-walking country girl who just so happens to write books.