During the last two weeks of school the kids didn’t do much school work. They had field days and free play and movie days of all kinds. It was the best two weeks of the school year and today several kids were bringing things to play with. It was no surprise to David what his friend the jerk from the jerk table had brought. David wanted that ball and he was going to get Nolan to steal it for him. David could tell that Nolan was starting to think of him as a friend and he was more than happy to use friendship against whoever was around him to get whatever it was he wanted.
Nolan’s plan A to avoid being pushed into stealing was to avoid David all day but David was too smart for that. The second David got to school he started looking for Nolan and that ball so he could organize the whole thing. David understood how to get the people around him in a little deeper so that he could manipulate them. By the time he found Nolan he had already found that ball and David had a plan.
He put his arm around Nolan and played up the friendship first by asking about the weekend. Nolan put his guard down a little hoping David had forgotten the whole thing and Nolan told the story of a boring weekend. According to David it just so happened that their weekends were a lot alike. It was always helpful to establish common ground and a teammate mentality before you tried to push someone into something they clearly didn’t want to do. After the friendly banter, David pointed out the jerk and his ball. He really dehumanized that kid and made Nolan feel angry at him all over again. Why would that jerk talk that way about Nolan? It was so hard to understand.
Then David went to class and let Nolan think about it for a few hours. He was angry with the jerk and friends with David. Nolan’s own emotional state would break him in, David didn’t have to push. Stealing wasn’t even mentioned until lunch time. David went over and sat at the jerk table and stirred up the jerks against Nolan. They were pointing and laughing and then he told them to watch as he went over to talk to Nolan. He sat down at the lonely table with Nolan and told him all the ugly, nasty things those jerks had been saying. David was trying to stand up for Nolan over there but the jerks just wouldn’t listen.
“How about when we go outside later, we trick him into losing his ball in the woods. Then we can come back to where we have it hidden after school. He’ll never know.” David told Nolan. “I’ll be right there with you to make sure you don’t get into trouble.” he said. Nolan felt afraid and nervous, he didn’t want to do this but David made it seem easy and righteous. “Ok” Nolan responded.
When play time came the jerk was playing basketball and David showed Nolan the plan. David would act mad and kick the ball into he woods out where the gym building was blocking the view. Nolan would already be behind the gym waiting and he was supposed to get the ball and run it to the other side of the gym while David was arguing with the jerk about how he played. No one would ever look for the ball that far from where it landed and Nolan could just walk out of the woods while the jerk squad was walking in. Then they could come back and get the ball after school.
Nolan didn’t want to but he already agreed and he was mad, that kid deserved it. So he went with the plan and hid the ball during the argument. It all worked out just like David said and now Nolan had been initiated into the next stage of friendship with David. This was the phase where David could make Nolan do anything by threatening to tell everyone what Nolan had done. But Nolan didn’t see that coming down the line. After school David and Nolan waited for the jerks to leave then ran over to the gym and got the ball. David said he would keep it at his house for awhile so that Nolan’s parents didn’t question him about it. Nolan was relieved, he’d been a little worried about that. David took he ball he wanted and Nolan never saw it again.