And, Chapter 1: And and Comma

And was sad. But had been gone for three weeks. She got up from her bed and went down the hall, to her brother, Comma’s room. Comma was blow drying his hair into a feathery mess in the bathroom across the hall. He didn’t notice And pass by. And mistook Comma for her sister If, who usually hogs the bathroom. When And saw that Comma was not in his bedroom, she walked back to the bathroom. And said to Comma, “I miss But.”

Comma turned off the blow dryer and said, “What?” “I miss But,” And repeated. “He’s been gone for three weeks,” said And. “I understand, And. But he will be back tomorrow,” said Comma. “What if he doesn’t come to school tomorrow?” said And. Comma grimaced. “Oh, C’mon, And! You’re just making up things to worry about, now,” said Comma. And smiled. “Yeah, I guess you’re right. There’s no reason for But to not come to school.” And breathed a sigh of relief. “Thanks, little bro. You’re always good at thinking rational,” said And.

And and Comma got on the bus that morning at their bus stop. As Comma made his way down the aisle of the bus, a pimply boy with big ears stuck his foot out to trip Comma. Comma was ready for it though, as the boy, whose name is Cheese, did the same thing every morning. Watch it, Cheese!” said Comma. Two boys, one short and round, the other tall and skinny, stood up, bending over, under the low roof. “What are you going to do about it, Comma?” the short one said. “I’m not in the mood for your crap today, Rock. Same to you, Block,” said Comma.

“Comma, please take a seat,” said the bus driver, whose name was Bounce. “Block and Rock, you two sit down.” By then Cheese had pulled his leg back in, not wanting to be reported by Bounce. “Hurry up!” said And to Comma. And was used to the shenanigans of these delinquents, and didn’t waste her breath on them. “I want to get this day over with!”