Ashton figured he should start by investigating on the drugs themselves. It was a good thing that he managed to do everything without being seen. He watched all of the kids more closely.
From what Ashton could tell, all trading of drugs must have been happening at lunch time. It was the only time that large amounts of every group was together. There was exchanging all over the place, kids trading food and drinks, and it was too full in the lunch room to notice anything to crazy.
On top of everything else, the staff was limited, all in all it was the perfect time for a drug deal to go down, busy enough that no one would expect it, but also busy enough to not be seen.
Ashton sat at the corner table, by a set of tall windows leading to the courtyard, that was where he figured he would go to buy drugs, so he watched quietly, just observing. There was little activity that day, although by the end it seemed as if there were a few people who were more than stoned. They laughed and found everything funny. They didn't pay attention in classes, and just stuck with a bunch of other kids who were stoned.
The thing that made it harder to track down was that it didn't stick to one group of people. It was in the jocks, nerds, poplar’s, and the misfits. Whatever the drug was, it was everywhere.
Ashton was alright with that, he always enjoyed a challenge.
Michael was watching the boy, he acted like he didn't care about anything. He watched everything, like there was something amusing about them. He was quiet, now that Michael thought about it, the first time he had heard him talk was when the teacher talked to him in class.
There was something intriguing about the boy. He was so small and innocent looking. Michael couldn't see him doing anything wrong, but at the same time, he thought that was the perfect way to keep from being suspected.
"Cooke!" Michael turned around at someone yelling his last name. Looking straight into the eyes of a teacher, he smirked.
"The principal want's to talk to you." "Kay, I'll go down there." Michael said, standing and taking one last glance at the boy, who was now looking down at his untouched food, twirling the spaghetti on his fork with a look of boredom on his face.
Michael wondered if it was possible that the principal had figured him out. If he knew that he was on the case. This worried Michael a lot, he had never had anyone know his face before.
It turned out that the principal was just trying to get him to pull up his grades. Michael let out a sigh of relief when he figured out that was all he wanted.
"Come on, it just twenty dollars." Michael heard a voice say, he kept himself hidden behind the corner, looking carefully over to where the voice was coming from. It was a...nerd? At least, if Michael remembered correctly that's what he was. He looked like a Junior, he was taller and had thick, black glasses. He was talking to one of the jocks.
"I could be kicked out of basketball for that." He said, looking uncomfortable.
"Yeah, you could have already been kicked out if I showed them the pictures." He commented, now Michael was really listening. Could this be about the drugs?
"What do you want, hush money?"
"No, nothing like that. I just want a favor."
"What?" The jock asked worriedly. "I don't know yet, but I suggest that when I do, you come and help. We wouldn't want those pictures getting all around the school. You know they have a zero tolerance rule here."
"Yes, I understand." And with that, the jock rushed off.
Michael knew that he was going to regret this. "Hey! I heard that you had somethings your looking to sell?" Michael said, he almost winced at the calculating look the nerd gave him.
"Are you looking for some help concentrating?"
"Yes." Michael said, hoping it was the right answer.
"Okay, meet me in the parking lot at four today. And bring the money."
"I understand." and that was the end of it.
"Are you looking for some help concentrating?" Ashton's ears perked at this, and he looked around the corner seeing the boy he had seen earlier. He was talking with a tall boy, though not any taller than the first boy, who had thick glasses and a condescending look on his face.
"Yes." The boy Ashton had been keeping tags on replied. He looked as nervous as anyone would in that conversation.
"Okay, meet me in the parking lot at four today. And bring the money." The nerd said, looking wearily at the tall boy. It was obvious that this was their first encounter, and that the nerd didn't trust the other at all.
"I understand." That was the end of the conversation, they both went their separate directions, the boy that was buying walking toward Ashton, who tried his best to blend into the wall.
Now he just had to wait until four to get the proof he needed.
"Any luck?" Henry asked when Ashton got home that day after school.
"Way more than I was expecting to get in one day, I saw one drug deal going down, or at least the plan of one. It's in the parking lot tonight at four."
"That's less than an hour away, get ready and head out." Henry said, still not really turning around. "Oh, and don't get caught." Ashton nodded, and headed up to his room to change into some different clothes.
It was three thirty when Ashton left the house, he wanted to get there early so that he could see it go down from the start.
He waited there for about fifteen minutes before the nerd showed up, and less than a minute later the tall boy drove in.
"Do you have the money?"
"Yeah, how much is it?" The boy asked.
"Twenty." The boy nodded, and handed the money to the nerd, who handed the boy an envolope in return. They just nodded without anything else, and the nerd walked away, while the boy got into his car. Ashton sighed, this was going to be harder to keep up with.
"I need a car..." Ashton mumbled, jogging to keep up with the slow moving car. Luckily, it didn't take long for the car to pull over. He stopped at a park, and hid under the slide. It was a dark green curling one that was known for having the drama of the town written inside.
Ashton listened to what the boy was saying, he heard an exaggerated sigh, and then he saw the boy leave. Ashton hid while the boy left, and noted that he threw something in the trash. When the boy was far out of sight, Ashton stood and walked over to see what the boy had thrown in the garbage.
Then Ashton sighed dramatically. Sitting in the garbage right near the top there was no signs of drugs of any kind. The only thing that stuck out was the envelope that the nerd had handed him. Pulling it out, Ashton opened the envelope and saw...answers?
They were answers to the test from Chem class that we were supposed to be taking on Tuesday. That was what they were selling, that was why the school was being so quiet, and why everyone was acting so secretive.
There were a ton of kids cheating on tests.
Ashton sighed one last time, and began walking home. It was almost disappointing that it ended in such a way, with no drugs and no exciting news to report.
It was still light out when Ashton got home, and Henry called him down for dinner.
"I'm not hungry." Ashton said, he knew that Henry wouldn't take that for an answer.
"If you skip anymore meals, your going to disappear." Ashton sighed and trudged downstairs.
"What's for dinner?"
"Chicken and mashed potatoes ." He answered, setting a couple of plates on the table. The mashed potatoes were a strange colour and the chicken was slightly burned. Still, Ashton couldn't help but smile at his efforts.
The first few weeks that Ashton had lived there he refused to eat anything. Henry tried everything from vegetables to candy, but Ashton just sat there, playing with it but never eating it.
Henry soon moved on to making his own meals, and that had some effect. It started with a few bites here and there, and escalated to eating all of something or a little bit of each thing.
When Henry took Ashton to the doctor, they told him that Ashton's body was at the developmental stage of a thirteen year old. Henry then talked to them about his eating habits and they told him that he needed to eat more or his condition would only get worse.
Now Ashton was sitting there, faced with the dilemma of eating again. He started with the pile of peas, taking each one in his mouth. After a few he switched to the mashed potatoes and chicken, eating a little bit of each. Surprisingly, Ashton drank his entire glass of milk.
"I'm full." He said, already beginning to stand from the table.
"Are you sure you can't eat anymore?" Henry asked, his eyes pleading. Ashton wanted to say he could eat more, but he had already eaten more than he was content with.
"I'm sorry..." Ashton told him, looking down, it always hurt Ashton to see how problematic he was being. To see the stress he caused people. He was too scared that they would get upset and leave him.
"It's alright, if you can't eat you can't eat." Henry shrugged.
"Do you want help with the dishes?" Ashton asked, moving to help Henry clear the table, but he just shook his head.
"No, you can go to your room." Henry told him, not looking up from the messy table. Ashton nodded out and left.