The day that Noah accidentally stepped on a frog and had nearly been crucified by the enraged eighth graders had turned sour by lunch. It was 1:15, and while eighth graders didn’t get recess-it was a kid thing-they did have blacktop time” after lunch, when they would mill about in small groups, talking with each other, flirting with each other, and otherwise acting awkward and out of place, trying to be cool. And failing. It was on the blacktop that the first conversations with girls that were beautiful and boys that were cute took place, where childhood friends since kindergarten were casually betrayed by the cruel-but-true story about dirty underwear and a sleepover back in Mrs. Rotter’s class second-grade. It was jungle, fenced on three sides. If that fourth wall had also been fenced in keeping them off of the grass, it would’ve been a prison yard. All it needed were some plastic shivs and searchlights.