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The next day, Junior walks over to the playground to find Rowdy. He wants to tell him that he loves him, and that he's his best friend, but he doesn't. Instead he tells him that he's transferring to Reardan.
Rowdy gets mad. Very, very mad. Like, nuclear.
Junior tries to convince Rowdy to come with him, telling him it will be an "adventure" (7.18).
Rowdy spits on the ground. Junior remembers that he and Rowdy played Reardan last year in flag football. Wellpinit (Junior's school) lost 45-0. They also lost to Reardan at basketball. And baseball. And academic bowl.
Junior tells us that the Reardan kids were "magnificent," "beautiful," they "knew everything," and they were "filled with hope" (7.34-7.39).
Hope, for Junior, is a mythical creature (fig 7.1).
Junior makes the mistake of touching Rowdy's shoulder, and Rowdy calls him a "retarded fag" (7.53). (Oof.) Then Junior starts to cry. Then Rowdy starts to cry—and scream.
Junior touches Rowdy's shoulder again, and Rowdy punches him. Junior hits the ground, his nose bleeding.