When Jocelyn whispered, "Kill me."
Thomas understood and he gave her the I get it pained look to let her know he understood this pain. Looking her directly in the eyes. He couldn't say it and now with the new taunts, he was past the hormone stage of this meeting. Different hormones washed his brains making him want to flee. His mother had told him that emotional pain caused the same parts of the brain to fire as physical pain. It was like getting kicked in the gut.

This was his secret jail and his encounters with the staff so far let him know that he wasn't as smart as he thought he was and that no one had his back.

He slid over and said, "You might as well sit down, you've been branded too."

He looked at Jocelyn and Blossom, "Most gymnastic people can be fairly cool when were not on the mat. When it is go time, most of us get so focused we forget to be nice to others. People tease and taunt you trying to get in your head. The worst part is they hope you get hurt," he said looking at Lance and Charlie's table. He wanted them to hurt. He turned back and looked at Jocelyn softening his expression, "I think everyone of us would be glad to teach you stuff, if you wanted. If your willing to risk the social stigma, you could even hang out with us." He smiled and said, "We have to spend so much time around each other when we are training, we become like family." He did not include the till we get on the mat.

He then went back to Blossom's question. "I'm from Southern California, the land of strip malls and the big black parking lot," he said.

"What do you like to do?" he asked Jocelyn.

The taunting subsided when Principal Perkey briefly stopped at their table checking on them, which he took as making sure he wasn't causing a problem.

If they started picking on Blossom, he might go take a detention to protect her. Looking at Jocelyn, she probably had claws and could defend herself better than he was defending himself. He didn't think she was catty, just that she looked like a girl that could and would hold her own. He had seen some of the gymnastic girls completely shred a boy with their words. Once you ticked off one girl, it spread like wild fire.

He looked over at Jack, Justin, Ashley and that crew. The Football Jerks and their puffy headed cheerleader groupies were getting ready to head out. They marked him and he knew he was going to be head first in a trash can, his head in a toilet, or running naked down the halls. It was just a matter of time. He groaned with anticipated pain. Later today they were having the boy's senior vs. sophmore, junior vs. freshman flag football event. He was going to get crushed and he wanted out but attendance was mandatory. Only the boy on crutches was getting out of this.

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