“Hi, I’m Jason,” a boy said. “You’re the new kid.” He was wearing a blue shirt with a big red letter J on it. Martha was pretty sure he wasn’t in her class. She’d remember a shirt like that.
Jason raised his eyebrows. Had he asked a question? “Yes, I’m new,” she said when it seemed like Jason wasn’t going to say anything else.
“Are you evil?” he asked.
“No,” Martha said.
“Are you sure? What do you do for fun?” Jason asked.
“I like to draw.”
Jason crossed his arms and narrowed his eyes. “What do you draw?”
“Mostly horses,” Martha said. “I like horses.”
“That’s boring.” Jason walked away.
During recess, Susan and Amy introduced themselves to Martha. “What do you think of our school so far?” Susan asked.
Martha paused.“It’s nice,”.
“You paused before you said that,” Amy said. “Is there something wrong?”
“I met a boy named Jason.” Martha frowned. “He asked me if I’m evil.”
Susan laughed. “Oh, don’t worry about that. I’m sure he didn’t mean it personally.”
“Then why did he ask me that? And then he said I’m boring.”
“Jason wants to be a superhero when he grows up.” Amy shrugged. “He’s been watching everyone since kindergarten. He’s looking for his arch rival supervillain.”
“So, I’m just the latest suspect?” Martha asked.
“Like all the rest of us,” Susan said. “Like I said, it isn’t personal.”
“He caught a litterer once. And someone cheating on a test.” Amy counted Jason’s successes on her fingers.
“Did he try to beat them up or something?” Martha asked.
“No, he held up his hand like he was telling them to stop, and then he started saying pew-pew-pew-pew until a teacher convinced him to tell them what was wrong.” Susan held up her hand to demonstrate. Martha laughed.
Just then there was some yelling by the slides. Above the other voices, they could hear someone yell. “Pew-pew-pew-pew!” The recess monitor hurried over and the yelling stopped.
“Was that Jason?” Martha asked.
“Yeah. Someone was probably cutting in line,” Amy said. “Jason hates that. Do you like playing jump rope? If there are three of us we could take turns jumping.”
Susan clapped her hands. “That’s a great idea! We haven’t been able to jump rope since Linda moved.”
“I love to jump rope.” Martha followed her new friends to check out a jump rope from the equipment box.
Weeks passed. Martha and Susan and Amy had soon attracted a group of girls who liked to jump rope too. One day a new girl joined them. “Hi, are you new?” Martha asked.
“A weird boy just asked me that,” the girl said.
“It must have been Jason,” Martha said. “He asked me that when I moved in too. Did he ask you if you’re evil?”
“Yes,” the girl said. “Oh, what’s your name, by the way? I’m April.”
“I’m Martha.” Martha held up her end of the rope. “Do you like to jump rope?”
“I love to jump rope,” April said.
The girls started to jump rope. One verse into Cinderella Dressed in Yellow, Jason walked by and stared at them suspiciously. “I’m watching you, new girl.” He pointed two fingers at his eyes and then pointed them at April. He backed away slowly, only tripping once.
Martha looked at April. “Why is Jason watching you? He said I was boring.”
“I told him that someday I’m going to rule the world.” April smiled.