فصل 04

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فصل 04

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Chapter four

A Hit-and-Run

The next day Ricki and Tony arrive at school early. There is a van from the local newspaper in front of the school. Two journalists are talking to a group of students outside the school gates.

“Why are those news reporters here?” asks Ricki, surprised.

“I don’t know,” replies Tony. “Look! Trish, Stacy and Mr Stockton are talking to them. Let’s find out what’s going on.”

“Mr Stockton, we are doing another news article about the increasing problem of crime in our high schools. Is there a lot of crime at Howard High?” one news reporter is asking the principal. Mr Stockton says, “No, we don’t have much crime here. Sure, we have some vandalism and we have some minor discipline problems. A few students have truancy problems, but there’s nothing major. I think our students feel safe here.”

“Stacy and Trish, do you feel safe at this school?” the other reporter asks the girls.

“Yeah, usually I feel safe,” replies Trish, “but there are some bullies at the school.”

“What exactly do you mean? What do they do?” asks the reporter.

“Well, some students are using notes and e-mail…”

But Stacy interrupts her friend, “No, we don’t have a lot of crime at our school, sir. We feel very safe here.”

She frowns at Trish and whispers, “Not yet. We don’t have any proof, Trish.”

Trish nods her head. She smiles at the reporters.

“Yes, all in all we feel safe at Howard High - it’s a good school.”

“Well, thank you, Trish, Stacy and Mr Stockton for your time,” says the reporter, closing his notebook.

“Don’t mention it,” replies the principal.

“You’re welcome,” say Stacy and Trish.

Tony and Ricki run to catch up with Stacy and Trish.

“Hey, what did they want?” asks Ricki.

“They’re writing another story on crime in high schools like the one in the newspaper yesterday. Remember the broken windows at school the other day?” says Trish. “They’re trying to find out what happened, who the vandals are and why they did it.”

“So why were they asking you?” asks Tony.

“I don’t know, maybe because we’re so gorgeous!’’ jokes Trish.

“Ricki, you and I have two famous girlfriends!” he replies and everybody laughs.

“Hey, what happened at the try-outs yesterday?” Stacy asks then. “Are you two on the team?”

“We are going to find out at lunchtime,” says Ricki.

“Let’s meet at the gym then,” says Trish.

“Okay! See you there!” replies Ricki.

The four friends meet at the gym later. Tony and Ricki see two boys standing near the coach’s door. Their heads are down. They’re not smiling.

“Oh no!” says Ricki. “Eric Caplin and John MacMillan aren’t on the team. Look at their faces! They’re seniors, too. I think they’re very good players.”

“Well, obviously, Coach doesn’t agree. Keep your fingers crossed,” says Tony. “Let’s hope we make the team.”

They walk to the noticeboard outside Coach Bergman’s door and look at the team list anxiously.

“Yahoo! Congratulations, Ricki and Tony!” cries Trish suddenly. “You’re on the team! Look, there are your names!”

“Hey, that’s great!” shouts Stacy, hugging Ricki. “You’re the best!”

Eric Caplin comes over to them.

“You were lucky this time, Caruso and Anderson!” he says furiously. “But remember you’re just kids. Coach made a big mistake,” and he walks away.

“Why is he so angry with you?” asks Trish.

“I suppose it’s because he’s a senior but he isn’t on the team,” replies Tony, shrugging his shoulders.

“Okay, bur why is he so nasty? He’s really hostile,” says Trish, puzzled. “Hey, forget Eric Caplin - he’s an idiot,” says Stacy. “Let’s celebrate guys! Let’s go have pizza for lunch!”

Ricki, Tony, Stacy and Trish walk out of the school towards the pizzeria, laughing and talking. Ricki turns to say something to Stacy as he steps off the curb. Suddenly, a car with dark windows comes round the comer. It speeds towards Ricki, getting faster and faster. Nobody knows whose car it is. They can’t see the driver.

“Ricki, watch out!” shouts Tony, and Stacy screams, but it’s already too late. The car hits Ricki and knocks him down onto the road, then speeds off without stopping. He lies on the road; his face is white. His friends surround him.

“Ricki, Ricki, are you all right?” cries Stacy.

“Ricki, can you hear us?” shouts Tony.

A small pool of blood is forming under Ricki’s head. His eyes are closed. He doesn’t reply.

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