A boy at school has been making Mia miserable. His name's Jack Willoughby and he's a total snot.

"He likes you," my mom said to Mia when we told her. "Boys do that when they like someone and don't know how to show it."

"I never did that!" I said.

She ignored me and said, "If he ever really bothers you, Mia, tell a teacher."

So the next time Jack pulled Mia's hair, she told on him. That just made things worse because then Jack and his friends were mad, and everyone knew Mia was a tattletale.

"I hate him!" She said, lying on my bed with a pillow over her face.

"Fill his backpack with bees," I said. I was starting to hate Jack, too.

"I can't!" she said.

"Why?" I said.

And she didn't answer me.

Yesterday when I went to her class so we could walk home, I found her chasing Jack and his friends. They'd gotten her backpack and were playing keep-away.

"Hey!" I said. "Stop it!"

They didn't. Mia looked like she was going to explode. She turned red and I thought, here it comes.

She started to cry.

Jack's friends laughed and I got mad. Madder than I've ever got in my life. Suddenly I was there, Jack was on the ground, his nose was bleeding, and my hand hurt.

Jack's friends all ran and Mia got her backpack from off the ground. She stood over Jack and said, "leave me alone."

Then we both ran away, too, in case a teacher saw us.
We went home and on the way Mia said to me,


And I said, "Tell me if he bothers you so I can hit him again."