"Cute skirt, Robyn!" Jesse Anderson calls as I find an empty seat. This isn't a compliment, and we both know it. Jesse's the worst boy in the eighth grade, and he and his posse pretty much rule the school. I slide into a seat next to my best friend Hannah Crandall. The bus starts toward the high school as Hannah chatters about boys.

After a couple minutes, the bus stops in front of my friend Jacob Oakley's house. He runs out of his front door and sits with me and Hannah. We chat about teachers for about half an hour before the bus stops. Jesse sneers at me as we enter, but I don't mind. Jesse couldn't stop me from being excited.

Jacob looks at the bulletin board as Hannah and I cluster around him. "Ms. Morales, 8-B. That's you, Robyn. Hannah is... Mr. Finnegan, 8-C. And I'm 8-D with Miss Queal. See ya." We part ways towards our homerooms, and Jesse's with me. He needles me all day, and by last period - science - I'm on the verge of tears. Thankfully, I reunite with Hannah and Jacob, giving them the details of Jesse's demolition of my self-esteem.

Jacob, as predicted, is furious. He hates when Jesse gets to me, and this is no different than any other time. The teacher arrives before anything starts, though, and he goes on and on about the joys of high school science. After that, we get on the bus home.

As soon as I get home, I run up the stairs to my room to see if my friend Dana emailed me. She lives in New York, and we email every day.

As I open my laptop, I look at the little Bonnie stuffed animal on my bed. When Hannah went to visit her grandmother in Paris and Jacob to Concord for what my mother called, "a lovely educational experience," eight years ago, the toys helped us stay connected.

I smile at it - and it waves! I nearly fall off my bed in shock. "Wh-What the...?" "Huh?" It spoke! I stare at the thing, amazed. It looks back, puzzled. "Why are you surprised?" Why was I surprised?!

Bonnie and I stare at each other for a bit before my older brother Darcy calls me down for dinner. He grins at me as we descend the stairs. I smile back.

After a dinner of burned steak and rubbery cheese, I hurry to my room and chat with the Bonnie thing about my day. It listens intently as I talk about Jesse, Jacob, and Hannah.

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