Mr. Lynch was a lot less friendly after that, which suited me fine, because I was trying to be friends with an interesting girl called Marian Williams, who absolutely hated him. She claimed it was an old grudge, but beyond that, Marian was very secretive about her hatred for Mr. Lynch. At first, she would only say that once upon a time Mr. Lynch had betrayed a sacred trust. Marian’s always using phrases like "betrayed a sacred trust," which sound ridiculous when I say them, but which somehow sound normal coming from her.

Marian’s not very popular. She’s one of those people who doesn’t care at all what other people think. Unlike me. Personally, I can’t not care what other people think, no matter how hard I try, but Marian really doesn’t, and I mean really. Half the time she’s in her own little world, so she barely notices that other people even exist.

Marian reads a lot. Too much, judging from the way she lives life in terms of books. For instance, the business with Mr. Lynch. I finally got it out of her that the "sacred trust" Mr. Lynch betrayed was that he had voted, along with several other teachers at Field, to remove The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn from the summer reading list. Apparently, there’s a lot of offensive language in the book, and it’s racist. Marian almost took off my head when I mentioned that. She said that only people who hadn’t read the book at all—at least not the way Mark Twain intended it— could call it "racist." I tried to point out that no one really knows how Mark Twain intended it, and we weren’t ever likely to, since he was dead, but that’s just the kind of argument you can’t win with Marian, because suddenly, instead of talking about Mark Twain, you’re talking about Genghis Kahn or the Holocaust, and how can you argue with that?