She sneezed. Wet droplets of infection escaped her too-late fingers as they rushed to cover her nose.

Bobby grimaced at her friend, cuddling up against the wall.

“You know, you shouldn’t cover your mouth with your hands, that’s how you spread disease,” the younger girl chastised. Erika pouted, quickly rubbing her hands on her pants.

“Ew,” Bobby sighed and looked away. It was hard to be friends with Erika. Sometimes it seemed like she just didn’t care. She was always forgetting about this, or neglecting to notice that.

Bobby hated how superior she felt to Erika, but she couldn’t help how much attention she paid in class. Bobby did work hard for her knowledge, but she did have to admit it came pretty easy to her. Which is what really baffled her about Erika. The girl had been stuck on basic algebra for years. Bobby had helped her through study packet after study packet but it never seemed to stick.

It was like that weird comeback they used to say in 1st grade – “I am rubber, you are glue, everything you say to me bounces off and sticks back to you” – except that being rubber was no advantage for Erika. At least, not so far as Bobby could tell.

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