Sunday, March 25, 2012

A History Of Friendship By Matthew W. Turcotte (Part 1 to 4)

A couple of things before I post this.  This is an eight part story.  Each part is quite long.  The whole story is 35 pages in length, so I hope you enjoy reading. Secondly, this is a fan fiction, and many of the characters and locations are not mine.  However, I have done them justice, and the characters that I did create seem to fit in just fine.  I wrote this back in January 2011, and it's one of the better stories that I've done, even if it is a fan fic.  Either way, I hope you all enjoy it. 
 A History Of Friendship - Part 1

It was 2:55 in the afternoon at Riverdale High School. Five minutes were all that stood in the way before the dawn of another weekend. The only barrier standing in the way of the school bell ringing was the tail-end of Miss Grundy's history class.'
And for the students in the class, all of them were thinking about the weekend, and all the plans they were making for it.
I hope Archie asks me out so we can go and see that new vampire movie”. Betty Cooper thought.
I hope Archie asks me out so we can go and see that new vampire movie”. Veronica Lodge dreamed, with a sly smile forming across her mouth.
I hope I have enough money to be able to see the new horror film with Jughead and the guys.” Archie Andrews thought.
Jughead Jones meanwhile was rubbing his stomach with a weird look on his face. “I am so hungry!!! Please let this class end so I can run over to Pop's.”
It's almost time to go, and Grundy hasn't assigned any homework yet.” Reggie Mantle thought triumphantly. “This weekend couldn't get any better.”
“Class.” Miss Grundy said. “Before class lets out, I'd like to talk about today's homework assignment.”
The entire class groaned.
“I knew it was too good to be true.” Reggie muttered.
“Goodbye weekend.” Midge Klump sighed.
“Now, now.” Miss Grundy said with a smile. “I think you will all really enjoy this assignment.”
“We also enjoy eating ice cream, but that doesn't mean we want it every day.” Veronica piped up.
“Speak for yourself, Ronnie.” Jughead said.
“Veronica, Jughead, enough.” Miss Grundy said. “And to anyone else who keeps interrupting, I'll keep the class in late until I explain the homework assignment in detail.”
“What is the homework, Miss Grundy?” Betty asked.
“I'm glad you asked, Betty.” Miss Grundy said. “Since we just finished our unit on twentieth century history, I've designed a project for all of you to take part in. I would like each one of you to bring in something from your homes that holds some significance in your life, or those of your families. I'd also like you all to write a five hundred word composition about the item you bring in, and you will be asked to submit an oral presentation of your item.”
“Sounds pretty cool.” Chuck Clayton said.
“Are there any restrictions as to what items we can bring?” Archie asked.
“Well, obviously no weapons or anything similar to that will be allowed.” Miss Grundy said. “But, as long as the item is from the twentieth century and has some sort of meaning for you or your family, you can bring in anything you wish.”
As soon as Miss Grundy finished her statement, the sound of a ringing bell was heard throughout the school, and the students inside Miss Grundy's classroom stood up and headed towards the classroom door.
“Okay, class, that's all for today.” Miss Grundy said with a smile. “Have a great weekend, and think about what you want to do for your project. I want to start the oral reports on Friday the twenty-first, so you have one week to prepare your assignments. Thank you.”
Outside in the main hallway, Archie, Betty, Jughead, Veronica, and Reggie gathered around the wall of lockers next to Miss Grundy's classroom door.
“Can you believe Miss Grundy assigning us a homework assignment like that and expecting us to have it done in just a week?” Reggie whined. “Why couldn't she just give us a break from homework?”
“Yeah, really.” Veronica said. “She always seems to want to take all the fun out of things, doesn't she?”
“Come on, guys.” Betty said. “I think this assignment could be a lot of fun.”
“Yeah.” Jughead said. “Imagine...doing a history assignment on anything that existed in the twentieth century. I could do a project on the greatest junk foods of the last hundred years. I might need more than 500 words to do it justice.”
“Jughead, it's a project that's to demonstrate the history of the last one hundred years, not a project to see how much food you can eat.” Archie said.
“I can make food educational.” Jughead said.
“What are you going to bring in?” Archie asked Betty.
“I may bring in a couple of diaries from Lydia, the writer friend of mine who passed away some time ago.” Betty said. “Her accounts of her life as a teenager in the early twentieth century is beautiful, yet tragic at the same time. I think people will be really moved. How about you?”
“I was thinking about bringing in my grandfather's old bagpipes to celebrate our Scottish history.” Archie said.
“Please don't entertain us with a song, Archie. History class is already unbearable enough as it is.” Reggie scoffed.
“Har-dee-har-har.” Archie said, sarcastically.
“You're certainly in a mood.” Veronica said.
“I can't help it.” Reggie said. “It's bad enough Coach Kleats is doubling our football practice time in wake of the big Riverdale vs. Central homecoming game. With Miss Grundy's history assignment, it's as if I don't have any moments to myself.”
“Maybe you should bring along a bottle of glass cleaner along with your favourite mirror for your project so that you can make homework fun.” Jughead said with a smirk on his face.
“That's not a bad idea.” Reggie said, smiling.
“Reggie, I was kidding.” Jughead said.
“I wasn't.” Reggie said.
“You know, I think that we should get out of here.” Veronica said. “Archie, I'm going to let you buy me a shake at Pop's and then we'll work on our homework together.”
“Veronica, first of all, it's a solo project, and secondly, Archie promised to buy me a shake during lunch.” Betty said.
“Why don't I just buy one shake, and put three straws inside of it like we always do?” Archie asked.
Betty and Veronica gave each other a look and walked towards the end of the hallway.
Archie just shook his head. “Was it something I said?”
Reggie and Jughead exchanged a look.
“Archie...I'd love to tell you all about the blunder you made, but I'm late for football practice.” Reggie said. “Bye.”
As Reggie left, Archie turned towards Jughead. “Jughead, what is it about women?”
Jughead stared at Archie. “You're asking ME?”
Archie smiled. “Nevermind, Jug.” he said, realizing his mistake. Look, I'd better go to Pop's...right after I hit the bank machine for enough money for three coming?”
“Give me a second.” Jughead said. “I just realized that I have to grab a snack from my locker.”
“Jughead, aren't we going to Pop's FOR a snack?” Archie asked.
“Well, I need something to eat on the way!” Jughead said.
Archie shook his head. “I'll wait for you outside.”
Archie turned around and headed towards the door while Jughead walked across the hall to open up his locker. As Jughead fiddled around with the combination lock, he heard something coming from further down the hall.
“Sounds like some people are more excited about the weekend than others.” Jughead concluded.
Then Jughead heard the sound of someones voice yelling “Leave me alone!”
Jughead immediately ran down the hall to investigate. By the time he arrived at the end of the hall where the gymnasium was, all Jughead could see was a boy who looked like he was not having a good day. Jughead recognized the boy as being in Miss Grundy's history class, but that was all that he knew of him, other than the fact that he had only arrived at Riverdale High a month prior to today.
Jughead approached the boy. “Hey, all right?”
The boy refused to look at Jughead, instead staring down at his shoes.
“I said...are you okay?” Jughead said, coming closer.
The boy started to back away and left the hallway without saying a word to Jughead, his feet making double time as he showed a facial expression that read 'I need to leave now'.
“Wonder what that was about?” Jughead wondered.

An hour later at Pop's Chocklit Shop, Jughead was filling in Archie, Betty, and Veronica about what he had seen in the hallways of Riverdale High, including how he had tried to engage in a conversation with the scared boy.
“It was just so weird.” Jughead explained. “We were standing outside the gym and I was trying to get through to him, but he wouldn't talk to me. He just looked like he wanted to get out of there.”
“And you say that he's the new kid in Miss Grundy's class?” Archie asked.
“Yeah.” Jughead said. “Goes by...what was his name again? Wally? Woody?”
“Wembley.” Betty said. “Wembley Morris. He sits behind me in class.”
“What's he like?” Veronica asked. “I don't think any of us really know him and he's been in class a month.”
“To be completely honest, I don't really know.” Betty said. “I've tried to talk to him in class a couple of times, but he just refused to speak. At first, I thought he was kind of snobby, but after hearing what Jughead said, I think that maybe something doesn't add up.”
“I just wish I could have gotten to talk to him.” Jughead said. “For all we know, something could be wrong, and he just might not know exactly what to say.”
“You could always try talking to him at school once the weekend's over.” Archie suggested.
“I guess.” Jughead said.
“So.” Veronica said. “Archie, what time are you picking me up for the vampire movie tonight?”
“He's not, because he's going with me.” Betty said. “Right, Archie?”
Archie's face started to turn red, and beads of sweat formed on his forehead. “Ah, um, well...actually...I'm not going to go with either of you.”
“What?” Betty asked.
“Why not?” Veronica asked.
“Well...I kind of sort of promised Jughead and Reggie that we would go and see the new horror film that's debuting at the mall movie theatre tonight.” Archie said.
“We've been planning this for quite some time.” Jughead said.
“I hope you two understand.” Archie said.
Betty smiled. “Of course we understand.”
Archie looked shocked. “”
“Of course we do.” Veronica said. “You're guys, and you need to have your bonding time. I mean, what better way to bond than seeing flesh-eating zombies take over the world, right?”
“I'm so relieved.” Archie said, laughing.
“Good.” Veronica said. “Because, you and I are going to see the vampire movie tomorrow night.”
“We...are?” Archie asked
“And, then on Sunday night, you and I are going to see the same movie.” Betty said.
“We...are?!?” Archie gasped.
Betty and Veronica then stood up and each kissed Archie on the cheek. “See you later.” Veronica said, as she and Betty left Pop's.
Archie looked as if he was punched in the stomach by Moose Mason. “First I have to buy them all shakes...and now I have to scrape together enough cash to go on three movie dates. What is the universe trying to tell me here?”
“You're a cheapskate.” Jughead said, sipping his soda.
“Thanks.” Archie said, looking slightly annoyed. “I wonder what's keeping Reggie anyway? We agreed that we would meet here at Pop's and from there we'd go to the movie theatre.”
“Maybe he's running late from football practice.” Jughead said.
“Yeah, that's probably it.” Archie said.
“Hmmm...” Jughead thought. “ was raining earlier today, wasn't it? That would mean that Coach Kleats would have had the practice session in the gym today, would he not?”
Archie sighed. “You're still thinking about Wembley, aren't you?”
“It just doesn't feel right.” Jughead said. “I found him outside the gym and it sounded like someone was picking on him. You'd think that the football team or Coach Kleats would have noticed if something was going on.”
“We could always ask Reggie if he saw anything when he arrives.” Archie said.
“Yeah, let's do that.” Jughead said.
Archie smiled. “You know, you don't know this Wembley kid, but you seem to feel as though something may be wrong, and you want to help him.”
“There's just something about him that makes me think that he's all right, and that he may need some help in dealing with whatever is going on, and that he's too afraid to talk about it.” Jughead said. “Or, maybe he just wanted a friend. Believe me, I know all too well what that feeling is like.”
“What do you mean?” Archie asked.
Before Jughead could answer, he caught something out of the corner of his eye. He saw a young man, with brown hair, glasses, and a red sweatshirt and blue jeans make a beeline towards the booth next to the gumball machine.
“Archie, look!” Jughead said. “That's Wembley!”
“Yeah.” Archie said. “It sure is...but why is he sitting at that booth? I don't think anyone has sat in that booth in the three years we've been at Riverdale High.”
“I don't know, but I think we should join him.” Jughead said. “I mean, we're waiting for Reggie anyway.”
“Are you sure about this, Jug?” Archie asked.
“We could always work on Miss Grundy's homework assignment.” Jughead said.
“You know, Wembley looks like he could use some company.” Archie said.

Jughead and Archie decided to approach Wembley at the booth next to the gumball machine. Jughead was hoping that this time, Wembley would stick around.
“Hi.” Jughead said. “Would you mind if we joined you?”
Wembley did not say a word. Instead, he grabbed a nearby menu and buried his face in it, trying to make it seem that Archie and Jughead weren't there.
“This is going well.” Archie said.
Unwilling to give up, Jughead sat down at the booth across from Wembley. “Look...I know you're new in school, and I know that you're kind of quiet, and that's okay. I was once like that too. But, I'm sure that if you give my friend and I a chance to get to know you, you would find that you might like to know us too.”
Wembley put down the menu and stared at Jughead intently, but still didn't speak.
“Well, at least I can see your face now.” Jughead said with a smile. “Hey, listen. I know you're in Miss Grundy's class. I'm Jughead. I sit in the back row on the opposite side of the room. You may...have caught me sleeping in class a couple of times.”
“A couple?” Archie joked.
Jughead shrugged his shoulders. “The guy back there is Archie Andrews, my best friend. Most days.”
Archie laughed. “He kids because he can. Hey, Wembley. Nice to meet you.”
“You see?” Jughead said. “Archie wants to get to know you, and so do I. But, it's kind of hard to get to know you if we don't know who you are. We don't even know if you can speak!”
Wembley cracked a tiny smile. “I speak, all right.”
“Oh my goodness!” Jughead exclaimed. “He speaks!”
Archie nodded. “I hear, I hear!”
Wembley sighed. “Okay, okay...I guess I don't have to be so nervous around you two.”
“Of course you don't!” Jughead said. “Why would you be nervous at all?”
Wembley sighed. “It's a long story mate...I don't know if I really wanna go into it.”
“It's okay.” Jughead said. “No rush.”
“So, Wembley.” Archie said. “Tell us a bit about yourself.”
“Well,'s not much to tell, really.” Wembley said. “I started at Riverdale High a month ago. You two are really the first people who have actually come to me and welcomed me here.”
“Really?” Jughead exclaimed. “You've been here a month and we're the first ones who have spoken to you?”
“Well, no...” Wembley said. “...I mean, yes. I mean...what I meant to say two are the only ones who have welcomed me warmly.”
“Again, I find that hard to believe.” Jughead said.
“I guess I'm just...quiet.” Wembley said. “It's not easy for me up.”
“Some people are like that.” Jughead said.
“Yeah, there's lots of people like that at Riverdale High.” Archie said. “All of us have had to overcome shyness at one point. I have. Certainly Jughead has.”
“Yeah, but I don't think that either of you have quite had...the same things happen to you as I have.” Wembley said.
“Probably not, but you aren't alone in feeling shy at some point.” Jughead said.
Wembley sighed. “I suppose.”
Jughead smiled. “Say...I have a great idea. Archie and I are supposed to be going to the screening of the new horror movie tonight at the mall movie theatre along with a few of our friends. Would you like to go?”
“Yeah, Wembley.” Archie said. “We'd like it if you could go with us...maybe get to meet some more people?”
“Who's all going?” Wembley asked.
“ two.” Jughead said. “Reggie Mantle, Moose Mason, Chuck Clayton.”
“Probably you'll see the Riverdale High football team there too.” Archie said. “Reggie says that they've been talking about going to see it since they saw the trailers for it online.”
As soon as Archie mentioned the words 'football team', the colour in Wembley's face drained, and he looked as though he was going to be sick.
“Wembley, are you all right?” Jughead asked.
“” Wembley said. “Just fine. I just remembered that I don't don't like horror movies. They're too scary even for me. I'm gonna pass.”
“Sorry to hear that.” Archie said. “But, hey. Maybe we can do something else this weekend.”
“I'm...sorry, guys.” Wembley said. “Look. I have to go. Bye, guys.”
Wembley stood up, left the booth, and darted out of the door, leaving Archie and Jughead very confused.
“He sure left in a hurry.” Archie said.
“Yeah.” Jughead said. “Too much of a hurry. Did you notice how oddly he reacted to us when you mentioned that the football team might be at the movie theatre tonight?”
“Yeah, come to think of it, I did.” Archie said.
“Something's up.” Jughead said. “When I saw Wembley outside the gym, he looked like he was visibly shaken. And, the gym was where Coach Kleats held football practice today. And, now when you mentioned the football team, Wembley clammed up and had to leave. There's something about the football team that is making Wembley act this way. It can't be a coincidence.”
“What do you think it is?” Archie said.
“I'm not sure...but I'm going to find out.” Jughead said.
“And, how are you going to do that?” Archie asked.
“Like this.” Jughead said, pointing towards a book on the table of the booth.
“Is that...a history notebook?” Archie asked.
“Yes.” Jughead said, looking on the inside cover. “And, it belongs to Wembley Morris. There's even an address on the cover. I'm sure if I return this book to him tonight, maybe if I'm lucky, he'll open up to me more about why he gets so anxious about the football team.”
“What about the movie?” Archie asked.
“Forget the movie.” Jughead said. “There's something going on with Wembley and he's for whatever reason too afraid or stubborn to talk about it.”
“I don't know if you can do much.” Archie said. “But, if anyone can get through to him, I know you can.”
“Thanks, pal.” Jughead said. “Just tell Reggie when he comes that I won't be at the movie. Just tell him I had to babysit Jellybean.”
“Why not tell him the truth?” Archie asked.
“Just a hunch.” Jughead said.
Archie nodded. “Go on. I'll see you later.”
Jughead walked out of Pop's as Archie pondered the turn of events. “Why would Jughead want me to lie to Reggie about where he was going? And, why would Wembley react that way to the football team? I know Jughead seems to have an idea of what's happening, but I think it's time I did some digging of my own.

A History Of Friendship - Part 2

About a half hour later, Jughead found himself walking down Duncan Street. According to the handwriting on the inside of the notebook that Jughead found, Wembley Morris called Duncan Street home. But, something did not seem right to Jughead.
“I don't get this at all.” Jughead said to himself. “According to the notebook, Wembley supposedly lives at 2 Duncan Street...but all I see at 2 Duncan Street is this warehouse like building. He couldn't possibly live here...can he?”
Jughead then noticed that the front door of the building was opening up. He then realized that he was definitely at the right spot when he saw Wembley's familiar red hooded sweatshirt in the doorway.
“Wembley!” Jughead shouted.
Wembley slowly turned around and stared in shock. “Jughead?!? did you...what are you doing here?”
Jughead pulled out Wembley's notebook. “I brought your notebook back. You left it at Pop's, and I saw that the address to this place was here, so I figured that you must have lived here, but seeing as how this is a warehouse, you obviously must have written your work address inside,”
Wembley sighed. “ didn't make a mistake.”
Jughead looked confused. “”
Wembley nodded. “Jughead, why don't you come in? I know that this doesn't look like much, but I'm sure that once you see inside, it's not so bad.”
Jughead smiled. “Only if you're sure.”
“I'm sure.” Wembley said. “You're actually the first friend that I've actually invited over.”
“Really?” Jughead asked.
“Yeah.” Wembley said. “Come in, please. We can talk about Miss Grundy's homework assignment...maybe have some snacks.”
“You talked me into it.” Jughead said, as he followed Wembley inside.

Meanwhile, at the Riverdale Mall, the movie theatre was packed with several teenagers, waiting to get tickets for “Zombie Assassin 7”, the horror film that had been the talk of the school for several days. The ticket line was so long, it extended past the front door of the theatre, past the entrance to Fjordstrom's Department Store.
Standing outside the entrance to Fjordstrom's, where the end of the line was located were Archie, Reggie, Chuck, and Moose.
“Come on!” Reggie said. “Can't this line move any faster?”
“Relax, Reggie.” Archie said. “The movie doesn't start until 7:15. It's only just after six. I'm sure that we'll get in to see the movie in no time.”
“I just hate waiting.” Reggie said. “We should have just skipped school and waited in line at the beginning so that we'd be inside the movie theatre by now.”
“Don't you do anything else besides whine?” Chuck exclaimed.
“Reggie.” Archie said. “Get a grip.”
“D-uh, yeah, Reg.” Moose said.
Reggie sighed. “Forget it. It's bad enough we're at the end of the line. It looks like my friends from the football team are running late.”
“Yeah, who's all coming, Reg?” Chuck asked.
“Oh, the quarterback and wide receiver.” Reggie said. “Clay Brock and Johnny Sangria.”
“I've heard things about those guys.” Archie said. “I hear they're two of the most talked about players this season.”
“Well, obviously, I'm the star of the team.” Reggie boasted.
“Obviously.” Archie and Chuck said simultaneously, each of them rolling their eyes back in their heads.
“But, you know, I have to give credit to where credit is due.” Reggie continued. “Though I may be the star of the team, Clay and Johnny have really been an asset.”
“They definitely seem to have the student body talking.” Chuck said.
“They're really, really, really...good.” Moose said.
“Well...good.” Archie said. “By the way, speaking of the football team, there's actually something that I was curious about, and maybe you could help me out, Reggie.”
Reggie looked a bit confused. “I'm not sure what you're wanting to know, Carrot-Top, but shoot.”
Archie sighed. “It's about football practice.”
“What about it?” Reggie asked. “Oh, wait...don't tell me you're interested in joining the football team. Remember last year? You couldn't even be the water boy without fumbling something.”
Archie tried his hardest not to let Reggie's sarcastic comments get to him as he continued to speak. “Reggie, let's not talk about my athletic abilities here. The football practice after school was held in the gym, right?”
“Well, yeah, it rained earlier today and Coach Kleats never lets us practice when the football field is wet. Mr. Weatherbee enforced that rule to prevent Mr. Svenson's job from having to be harder than it needed to be. Why do you ask?”
“Well, earlier today, Jughead happened to run into Wembley Morris outside of the gym while your football practice was going on.”
“Wembley Morris?” Reggie exclaimed. “That little goober in Miss Grundy's class?”
“Reggie, that's kind of rude.” Chuck said.
“I'm sorry, but the kid is weird.” Reggie exclaimed. “You ever notice that he's been in our school for a whole month and he has barely even said two words to anybody since he arrived?”
“Maybe he's shy?” Moose suggested.
“And, even if he's not, it's no excuse to call him names.” Archie scolded. “Especially since you don't even know him.”
Reggie sighed. “And, do you know Wembley? Does anyone know him?”
“As a matter of fact, Jughead and I have both met him, and we like him.” Archie said.
“Lemme guess.” Reggie said. “Jughead blew off the movie tonight so he could have a play date with his new best friend.”
“Reggie, what's your deal?” Archie said. “Sometimes you can be a real jerk, you know?”
“Okay, Arch.” Reggie said. “I'm sorry. Maybe I'm just frustrated that we have to wait so long in line.”
“It's fine.” Archie said. “But, I still think you might be a little hard on Wembley, especially after what Jughead witnessed earlier this afternoon.”
“Okay, fine, I'll bite.” Reggie asked. “What happened?”
“Jughead saw Wembley outside of the gym, and he looked really spooked.” Archie said. “He ran away from Jughead when he tried to talk to him. If Wembley hadn't showed up at Pop's later on, we'd still be wondering what was going on with him.”
“Sounds really weird.” Chuck said.
“Is he okay?” Moose asked.
“Yeah, once Jughead and I got to talking with him, he started to open up to us.” Archie said. “Still though...I wonder what happened that caused him to react that way.”
“I still don't understand what this has to do with the football practice today.” Reggie asked.
“Could anyone have seen what might have happened?” Archie asked. “Like, if the football practice was going on at the same time whatever happened that made Wembley afraid, you would think that someone saw what was going on. Reggie, would anyone have seen Wembley during the football practice?”
“Not unless they were standing outside in the hallway.” Reggie said. “The doors of the gym have frosted glass, remember? Nobody can see inside or out through the door.”
“Did anyone come to practice later than normal?” Archie asked.
“Archie, what are you getting at?” Reggie asked. “You seem awfully concerned about this Wembley kid, even though he's more or less invisible to the staff and students of Riverdale High.”
“Because it seems to me that maybe Wembley is going through a hard time at school for whatever reason, and I'm wondering if maybe I can help.” Archie said. “Maybe he's failing a class and he's worried about it. Maybe he's being bullied by someone and he's afraid to talk about it.”
“Archie, get serious.” Reggie said. “This is Riverdale High. Friendliest high school in the state. People don't bully people at our school.”
“Says the man who just referred to Wembley as a goober.” Chuck said, dryly.
“Come on, Chuck.” Reggie said. “That's not bullying. Bullying to me is when you slam someone into a locker, or throw them down a flight of stairs...things that...well, Moose does when you hit on Midge.”
“D-uh, I don't think I like that, Reggie.” Moose said. “And, if you say that again, I'll throw you through a wall!”
“I rest my case.” Reggie said. “Archie, you may have a right to be concerned about Wembley, but take it from me. He's not being bullied. I would know if my team was responsible for anything like that.”
“I hope you're right, Reggie.” Archie said.
Just then, two men wearing blue and gold football jackets arrived outside of Fjordstrom's and immediately waved at Reggie. “Yo, Mantle.” the blond-haired man shouted.
Reggie smiled. “Hey, Clay! Nice to see you.”
The dark-haired man shook Reggie's hand. “You certainly put forth a lot of extra effort in practice, Reg. I could have sworn you'd be too tired to sit through a movie.”
“Right, Johnny.” Reggie said. “Nothing, and I mean, nothing will keep me from seeing “Zombie Assassin 7”.
“I just hope it's better than the sixth movie.” Clay said.
“So, we know Moose here.” Johnny said. “Who're the other two?”
“Oh, right.” Reggie said. “Clay, Johnny...these are Archie Andrews and Chuck Clayton. Chuck, Clay Brock and Johnny Sangria.”
“Nice to meet you.” Chuck said.
“Yeah, hi, guys.” Archie said.
“Good to meet you too.” Johnny said.
“So, why's the line-up all the way out to Fjordstrom's?” Clay asked.
“Guess 'Zombie Assassin 7' is more popular than we thought.” Archie said. “Makes sense, since tonight's the premiere.”
Just then, a female movie usher from the movie theatre arrived at the entrance and tried to get the attention of the line outside of Fjordstrom's.
“Attention, everyone.” she shouted. “Due to outstanding demand for tickets, we regret to inform you that the 7:15 showing of 'Zombie Assassin 7' is sold out.”
“NO!” Reggie exclaimed.
“Does this mean no movie?” Moose asked.
“However, because of the demand for tickets, management has decided to add another showing of the film at 10:00 pm tonight, so stay in line, and I promise you that you will be able to see this movie.”
“Great.” Reggie exclaimed. “My curfew is AT ten!”
“So, I guess you have to leave?” Chuck asked.
“Forget that!” Reggie said. “Seeing this movie is worth getting grounded for a weekend!”
Archie meanwhile was eyeing Clay and Johnny intently. “Hmmm...Reggie was no help...but maybe these two might know what's up with Wembley. I wonder if Jughead's making any head-way with him?”

A History Of Friendship - Part 3

Back on Duncan Street, Wembley had spent several minutes showing Jughead around his home, and Jughead was completely blown away over how it looked. As it turned out, Wembley's home, which looked like a warehouse from the outside was in fact, a warehouse. But, it wasn't just any typical warehouse, and as Wembley and Jughead approached the living quarters of the warehouse, Jughead was quickly discovering that there was a lot more to Wembley than he initially thought.
“So, your uncle owns this warehouse, and you live in a little apartment above it?” Jughead asked Wembley.
“Yes.” Wembley said. “My uncle, aunt, and I used to live in a house on the other side of town, but when I transferred to Riverdale High a month ago, we felt it best to just stick close to where he worked, so we moved into the apartment above this place.”
“Doesn't it get a bit noisy here, with all the people working below and the noise of the forklifts?” Jughead wondered.
“Actually, you'll find that our flat is quite soundproof.” Wembley said.
“Flat?” Jughead asked.
“Oh, sorry.” Wembley said. “I'm sorry, I meant apartment. You see, my parents are originally from Britain. I moved to America when I was seven, and I'm more or less Americanized, but a little bit of British slang pops up every now and again.”
“That's cool.” Jughead said.
Wembley approached a metal door that was covered in red paint and had the letter 'W' stenciled upon it. “Here's my room!”
Jughead was shocked. “Your bedroom door is made of metal?”
“Well, the apartment used to be a part of the factory.” Wembley said. “So, as a result, my bedroom is sort of a bit different from the average person's. Would you like to come in?”
“Sure.” Jughead said.
Wembley opened up the door, and he showed Jughead inside, where Jughead was completely in awe of what he was seeing. In the middle of Wembley's bedroom was a chain link fence, which was completely covered with tons of posters, old discarded street signs, a couple of neon lights, and the main focus piece of the room, a retro-style jukebox, right next to Wembley's bed.
“This room cool!” Jughead said.
“It's not much, but I call it home.” Wembley said, as he sat down on the edge of his bed.
“I mean it!” Jughead said. “The neon signs, the awesome music posters, the really cool jukebox. This is one really cool room! Where did you get all of this really cool stuff?”
“Mostly from my uncle and aunt.” Wembley said. “That's part of the reason why they opened up this warehouse. They send and receive retro-style knick-knacks all over the state. A lot of the vendors offer up free samples as a thank you for doing business with them. It includes the movie posters all over the walls here.”
“That's generous of them.” Jughead said.
“Well, my uncle and aunt definitely work hard to provide a good living for us all.” Wembley said.
“So, you live with your uncle and aunt.” Jughead said.
Wembley sighed. “I'm thinking you're probably wondering what happened to my parents.”
“Well, no, not really...” Jughead said.
“No,'s all right.” Wembley said. “My parents aren't alive. They died in a house fire when I was six and a half.”
“I'm sorry, Wembley.” Jughead said.
“That's part of the reason why I moved to America.” Wembley explained. “My uncle and aunt were my only living relatives. But, I've been in this country the last ten years, and my uncle and aunt have been incredibly supportive and caring.”
“They sound like fantastic people.” Jughead said.
“Oh, they are.” Wembley said. “Still, though...I do miss my parents.”
“I imagine you do.” Jughead said. “I couldn't imaging losing loved ones, especially at such a young age.”
Wembley nodded. “You know, I've never actually talked about my feelings about this with anyone else. It's always been so hard for me to open up to people.”
“You seem to be doing fine with me so far.” Jughead said.
“Well, you made the effort.” Wembley said. “Not everyone would be as kind as you.”
Jughead looked confused. “Why would you say that?”
Wembley sighed. “Oh,'s nothing. Forget I said anything.”
Jughead nodded. “You know if you want to talk about whatever is on your mind, I won't judge you.”
“No, really, it's fine.” Wembley said. “Really.”
But, somehow, Jughead knew that Wembley seemed to be holding back on him. And, he had an idea as to why.
“All right.” Jughead said. “I won't press further.”
“Thank you.” Wembley said.
“So, let's change the subject.” Jughead said. “Have you thought about what you want to do for Miss Grundy's homework assignment?”
“Not really.” Wembley said.
“I'm kind of surprised.” Jughead said, looking around Wembley's room. “You have so much stuff in here that is supposedly retro, you could do an entire project on your bedroom alone.”
“Yes, but none of this stuff really has any special meaning to me.” Wembley said. “All of this stuff I've only collected over the last few years. Most of my childhood stuff was burned up in the fire. I only managed to save one thing.”
“What is it?” Jughead asked.
“Hold on.” Wembley said. “I'll get it.”
Wembley got up off of his bed and opened up the door to his wardrobe. He pulled out a bright red box and opened it up. Inside was a light blue wooden box that had deep blue flowers painted on the lid.
“What is it?” Jughead asked.
“It was my mother's.” Wembley explained. “It was a jewelry box that my father had bought for her back when they were dating.”
Jughead eyed the jewelry box intently. “It's nice.”
“It used to play music.” Wembley said. “But, it's been broken for a few years now. It's actually a miracle that I managed to save this...the fire was really bad. Look on the bottom of it. There's an inscription underneath it.”
Jughead turned the jewelry box upside down and saw an inscription written in bright blue ink. “To my dearest Laura, in honour of our first year together, and many many more thereafter. Love always, Samuel.”
“I can see why this box means a lot to you.” Jughead said.
“It's really the only thing that I have from my parents.” Wembley said. “It is my most prized possession, and really the only thing that I could bring in for Miss Grundy's project. But, I doubt that it would be interesting or meaningful enough to make for a good project. I wouldn't even know if I would even get an A.”
“If it's special to you, then it's good enough for the project.” Jughead said. “Miss Grundy did say that it had to be an item from the twentieth century that brought a lot of meaning to you, and clearly this jewelry box does. But, it's your need to decide what to do.”
Wembley took back the jewelry box from Jughead. “Thanks, Jughead.”
“You're welcome.” Jughead said. “Listen, I hate to leave like this, but I really have to get going. But, hey, why don't we meet up again in the school library later this week, so we can help each other work on our projects?”
“Sounds good.” Wembley said.
Jughead headed towards Wembley's door and turned back towards Wembley. “The offer to know that it still stands anytime.”
“I know.” Wembley said. “Thanks.”
As Jughead left, Wembley stared at the jewelry box in sadness. “I wish you were both still here...maybe you could help me find a way to stand up for myself instead of getting pushed around. Opening up to Jughead was a HUGE step for me...I just hope I'm right about trusting him...I've had too many people hurt me enough.”

A History Of Friendship - Part 4

The following Monday at Riverdale High, Jughead and Archie were trading tales about what had happened on Friday night.
“So, you ended up having to wait until ten o'clock to see 'Zombie Assassin 7”? Jughead exclaimed. “I can't imagine that went over well with your parents, Arch.”
“Actually, it wasn't that horrible.” Archie said. “Mainly because Chuck and I called home to let our parents know that we'd be catching the late show. I think Moose did too.”
“And, Reggie?” Jughead asked.
“Last I heard, Reggie was grounded for two weeks for missing curfew.” Archie said. “Worst part about the whole thing was that the movie wasn't that great. It was a huge disappointment from the last few films. You didn't miss much, believe me. It was even worse on the weekend when my dates with Veronica and Betty were a total mess.”
“Not even gonna ask about Betty and Veronica...” Jughead said. “...but that's too bad about 'Zombie Assassin 7'. It's probably for the best. Besides, what I had to do was more important anyway.”
“Did you make any progress with Wembley at all?” Archie asked.
“I wish I did.” Jughead said. “I didn't get any information about whether or not the football team was harassing him, but I did learn more about his background. It's really sad. He lost his parents at a young age, and from what I understand, he's been living with his aunt and uncle for the past few years. They live above a warehouse on Duncan Street.”
“That sounds horrible.” Archie said. “No wonder Wembley hasn't really been all that outgoing here.”
“He seems to be making the most of it.” Jughead said. “He seems grateful to be living where he is, and he by far has one of the coolest bedrooms I've ever seen. But, I can't help but get the feeling that there's something he's keeping from me.”
“You seem to think that if the football team is picking on him, he's not willing to volunteer that information to you or anybody else, right?” Archie asked.
“Exactly.” Jughead said. “I mean, I didn't press on or anything like that, but I just wish I knew what exactly he was keeping.”
“I may be able to fill you in a bit.” Archie said. “And, I'm warning you ahead of time that you probably won't like it.”
“What do you mean, I probably won't like it?” Jughead asked.
:”It involves Reggie.” Archie said.
“Great, this just gets better and better.” Jughead said. “What did you find out?”
“Well, nothing set in stone.” Archie said. “But, when we were waiting in line at the movie theatre to get in, the subject of Wembley came up, and Reggie didn't seem to have that much of a high opinion of Wembley. He accused him of being too snobby and stuck-up.”
“Reggie whining about someone being snobby and stuck-up?!?” Jughead exclaimed. “Has he not looked in the thirty-six mirrors he loves so much?”
“My thoughts exactly.” Archie said.
“Nice to know that Reggie actually made an effort to get to KNOW Wembley before judging him.” Jughead said, sadly.
Archie nodded. “That's exactly what I said. Chuck and Moose also tried to make that point too, and I think that even Reggie knew that he was kind of crossing the line. But, then his buddies from the football team arrived. Clay Brock and Johnny Sangria.”
“And, what happened?” Jughead asked.
“Well, nothing, really.” Archie said. “Aside from some whining from Clay, Johnny, and Reggie about missing the 7:15 show, not much. Though I did bring up the subject of bullying in a general sense, and the one thing I got was that the football team's definition of bullying doesn't exactly match mine.”
“That still doesn't prove that the football team is bullying Wembley.” Jughead said.
“Maybe not, but I think that the two of us need to keep our eyes open.” Archie said. “I can't quite put my finger on it, but there's something about both Clay and Johnny that I'm not comfortable with.”
“And, I hate the fact that Reggie is caught up in this too.” Jughead said. “I mean, Reggie hasn't exactly been the nicest person to walk through the halls of this school, but I never thought that he'd be the kind of person to maliciously tease and bully someone either.”
“Again, we don't know the whole story yet, so we need to hold off forming an opinion about Reggie until we know for sure what is going on.” Archie said.
Jughead nodded. “I just hope that we're completely wrong about this, and that Wembley's just extra shy...but something in my gut tells me that it's more than that.”
Archie sighed. “That's what bothers me.”

Jughead and Archie headed down the hallway and turned the corner just as Reggie was leaving the shop class workroom. Reggie was speaking with the shop teacher, Mr. Krosskutt.
“Reggie, I'm very impressed by your work in the woodworking portion of the course.” Mr. Krosskutt. “You seem to be the only one in the class who has done perfect or near-perfect work.”
“What can I say, Mr. K?” Reggie said. “When I do things, I do things well.”
“However, your ego still needs a little bit of deflating, I see.” Mr. Krosscutt sighed. “At any rate, I just wanted to ask you if you wanted to help some of the other students with some of their projects. Particularly with Dilton Doiley. The lad might be skilled in chemistry, physics, and machinery, but his woodworking skills are a hopeless case.”
“I shall do my best.” Reggie said.
“Good.” Mr. Krosskutt said. “I will see you and Dilton both in class later today.”
As Mr. Krosskutt walked back into his classroom, Reggie noticed that Betty and Veronica were approaching.
“Hey, Bets, Ron.” Reggie said. “Need an escort to class?”
“Only if you want to.” Veronica said, sharply.
“What's with her?” Reggie asked.
“Oh, she's still trying to figure out what she's going to do for Miss Grundy's assignment due this week.” Betty said. “That, plus Archie ran out of money on their movie date this weekend.
“Can you believe Archie asked me...Veronica go HALFSIES on our movie date?” Veronica scoffed. “I've never been so humiliated in my whole life!”
“At least he had enough money for you to go halfsies with.” Betty said. “I ended up paying for our whole movie date.”
“You're taking this rather well.” Reggie said to Betty.
“Yeah, well...I wanted to see the vampire movie anyway.” Betty said. “Besides, when you've gone out with as many dates with Archie, you expect things to be unconventional. But, he did promise he'd make up for it.”
“I'll believe that when I see it.” Veronica said. “I'm so angry with Archie Andrews, I don't care if I ever see him again.”
“Great...more dates for me!” Betty thought to herself with a smile.
“And, get that silly grin off your face, Betty Cooper.” Veronica sneered. “As if I don't already know what you're thinking.”
Betty shook her head. “And, on that pleasant note, I have to go meet with Jughead and Archie to work on Miss Grundy's homework assignment.”
As Betty left, Veronica angrily stared towards her. “I hope the only dates you study with Archie are HISTORY dates!!!”
Reggie just chuckled. “Ron...all this could have been avoided if you had gone to the movies with me.”
Veronica was fuming. “Oh, be quiet, Reggie.”
Veronica then stormed away from Reggie as he shook his head. “All this could have been avoided if she had gone out with ME instead of Carrot-Top.”
Reggie had looked at the clock in the hallway and realized that he was running late for yet another football practice. “Great.” he muttered. “I completely forgot that we had a practice during lunch. Guess I'd better eat and run.”
Reggie quickly turned the corner and almost ran into Wembley. “Move it, goober.” he shouted as he darted past.
Wembley just stared at Reggie as he left. “Geez...he's in a hurry...”
Thinking nothing of it, though, Wembley turned the corner of the hallway that Reggie had just been in and was about to head to the library to meet up with Jughead to work on their class project when he heard a couple of voices that he hoped he didn't have to hear.
“Yo, Johnny...look's Whiny Wembley!”
“More like Wah Wah Wembley to me, Clay.”
Wembley's whole demeanor changed as Clay Brock and Johnny Sangria approached Wembley. “Excuse me, I have to go.”
“What's the rush?” Clay said, stepping directly into Wembley's path. “We just wanna talk.”
“I don't have anything to say.” Wembley said, attempting to walk in the opposite direction.
“Not so fast.” Johnny said, as he got closer to Wembley. “You're not going anywhere right now until we talk to you.”
“Seems like you don't talk at all.” Clay said. “That's very, very, weird.”
“Too weird.” Johnny said.
With Clay and Johnny on opposite sides of him, Wembley was effective stuck. “Guys, just please...leave me alone.”
“Why?” Clay said, sarcastically. “We only want to be your friend.”
“Friends don't block people in the hallways or talk down to them.” Wembley said.
Johnny pushed Wembley up against a block of lockers. “You dare talk back to us?”
“You better watch what you say, Wembley.” Clay warned. “We're on the football team. You know, the team with all the biggest and strongest guys in the school. I'd hate for you to have them on your bad side.”
“Why are you doing this?” Wembley asked.
“Because you're the weirdest kid in school, and we don't want weird kids who don't speak in our school.” Johnny said.
“Does it not bother you that in the short time you've been here, nobody has wanted anything to do with you because nobody likes you?” Clay asked.
“It should.” Johnny said.
Clay then grabbed Wembley's backpack. “Let's see what you brought for lunch today.”
“Give that back!” Wembley shouted.
Johnny held Wembley back. “What's he got?”
Clay scoffed. “Just a stupid sandwich and an apple. Garbage.”
Clay then took Wembley's backpack and shoved it into the nearby garbage can, with Clay and Johnny laughing the whole time.
“We'll catch you later, Whiny Wembley.” Clay said with a sneer. “I quite enjoyed this chat. Let's get some real food, Johnny.”
Clay and Johnny laughed out loud as Wembley, shaken, grabbed his backpack out of the trash can and sadly walked down the hallway.
However, fate had a funny way of bringing attention to the situation.
And, in this case, fate was wearing black pumps and a designer purse.
Veronica Lodge had seen the whole event take place from the background...and suddenly, she wasn't as mad at Archie anymore.

In the school gymnasium, Reggie had just run inside, knowing that he was late for football practice, hoping that Coach Kleats would keep his cool. He immediately saw Moose and ran towards him.
“Yes, I know I'm late.” Reggie told Moose. “I know that I'll have to do more laps around the gym.”
“Don't worry.” Moose said. “Coach ain't here.”
“Oh, thank goodness.” Reggie said, relieved.
“Clay and Johnny are late too.” Moose explained.
“What?” Reggie asked. “That's odd. Clay and Johnny were late for Friday's practice session as well. I wonder what's going on with those two?”
Just as Reggie pondered this, Clay and Johnny quickly entered the gym.
“Good.” Clay said. “It looks like Coach Kleats isn't here.”
“All right.” Johnny said. “No extra laps for us.”
“And, just what was it you two were doing that was more important than football practice?” Reggie asked.
“Oh...we were just hanging out with someone.” Clay said with a smirk.
“Yeah.” Johnny said. “We had something to tell him.”
Reggie looked at them suspiciously. “Really...”
“Yeah, really.” Johnny said.
“And, who are you? Coach's spy?” Clay asked.
“No, of course not.” Reggie said. “If anything, I was late myself. But, the Riverdale vs. Central homecoming game is coming up soon, and Coach Kleats really wants us to win it. We have to try and make it to practice on time.”
“You're right, Mantle.” Clay said. “We're sorry.”
Just then, Coach Kleats entered the gym. “All right, team. We have just a few days until the homecoming game, so we need to make sure that we are ready. I want all of you to start by running ten laps around the gym.”
“Yes, Coach.” the team said.
“ more thing.” Coach Kleats said. “Since Mantle, Brock, and Sangria were late for practice, they will do an additional fifteen laps.”
“What?” Johnny exclaimed.
“That's not fair!” Clay whined.
“How did you know?” Reggie sighed.
“I may have been born at night, but it wasn't last night.” Coach Kleats said with a smile. “Get running, boys.”
Reggie nodded his head. “You heard the coach.”
As Reggie joined the rest of the football team doing laps, Johnny approached Clay. “I told you we were gonna be late!”
“Relax.” Clay said. “Picking on that Wembley geek was worth the extra laps.”
“HEY!” Coach Kleats said. “Brock and Sangria, you better start doing laps now.”
Johnny started to run. “Picking on Wembley certainly is fun...but what if someone finds out?”
“Relax.” Clay said. “We're doing this without anyone knowing, and we have Wembley so scared, he's not going to say anything. Who's gonna know?”

Meanwhile, in the school library, Archie, Jughead, and Betty were seated at one of the tables. Jughead kept checking his watch, looking impatient.
“I wonder where Wembley is?” Jughead said. “He said he'd meet us here to work on our projects with us.”
“Maybe he's running late?” Archie suggested.
“No.” Jughead said. “I can't put my finger on it, but something's not right.”
“You think that something happened, didn't you?” Archie asked.
“Archie, I heard Reggie and Moose talking about another football practice.” Jughead said. “A practice that is going on right now. It's just too much of a coincidence.”
“Juggie.” Betty said. “Archie kind of filled me in on what's been happening. I just can't believe that Wembley has had to go through so much.”
“Nobody knows.” Jughead said.
“I think for whatever reason, Wembley has a lot of trouble opening up to people.” Archie said.
“Can you blame him?” Jughead said. “I mean, he had to deal with the loss of his parents, moving to another country, and now he has to deal with people making fun of him.”
“We don't know that for certain.” Archie said.
“I just think he's had too much happen to him.” Jughead said. “All he needs is to have some really good friends to confide in. To make him feel like he's not completely helpless in this.”
“You're doing a good job right now.” Betty said.
“Yeah, you've gone above and beyond for this kid.” Archie said.
“Let's just say that I know what he's going through.” Jughead said.
“Yeah, about that.” Archie said. “You keep saying that you can relate to Wembley and you know what he's talking about, but I'm not sure exactly what you mean.”
“Oh...that...” Jughead said. “Well, you see...”
But before Jughead could answer, Veronica entered the library. “Oh, good! I'm so glad all of you are here.”
Archie looked shocked. “, Veronica. Yeah, I know what you're going to say. You're still...upset over Saturday. I know. I promise you that I will make this up to you. I'll buy you flowers, I'll give you chocolates, whatever it is, I will make this up to you, just please don't be mad at me.”
Betty and Jughead looked at each other and rolled their eyes.
Veronica looked annoyed. “Archie, stop talking, please. This doesn't even have anything to do with you.”
“Then what is it?” Archie asked.
As Archie asked that question, Wembley happened to approach the table in the library that Betty and Jughead were still sitting at. He looked visibly shaken.
“Wembley!” Jughead said. “You're here!”
“Something wrong?” Betty asked.
“I'm...not feeling good.” Wembley said. “I know that I promised that I was going to meet you here in the library to work on our projects, but I'm not feeling well. I'm gonna go home early.”
“You sure?” Jughead asked. “You sure it's not anything else?”
“Yeah, it kind of looks like more than you just being sick.” Archie said.
“No, I really am sick.” Wembley said. “I'm sorry.”
Wembley started to leave, but Veronica turned towards him and said “Why don't you tell them the REAL reason.”
Wembley turned towards Veronica. “That is the real reason.”
“Oh, really.” Veronica said. “It wouldn't have anything to do with the 'talk' you had with Clay and Johnny, did it?”
“What?” Betty exclaimed.
Jughead sighed. “I knew it.”
Wembley looked angry. “Veronica, you don't know what you're talking about. I really need to go.”
“Wembley, I saw everything.” Veronica said. “I saw Clay and Johnny take your backpack and shove it in a garbage can.”
“What?” Archie said.
“Wembley.” Jughead said. “Is this true?”
Wembley stared down at his shoes.
“Wembley, talk to us here.” Jughead said. “We're your friends, remember? You can tell us everything.”
Wembley sighed. “You have any idea how hard it is to be the new kid? How hard it is to make friends?”
“I know all too well, Wembley, but guys like Johnny and Clay aren't your friends.” Jughead said.
“Not after what I saw.” Veronica said. “It was really horrible, and I'm sorry that you had to go through that.”
“Wembley, how long has this been going on?” Betty asked.
Wembley remained silent.
“Has this been going on a long time?” Archie asked.
Jughead sighed. “This has been happening since you started at Riverdale High hasn't it?”
Wembley nodded. “I didn't know what to do. I figured that if I just sat back and did nothing, that it would eventually stop, like it did at my old school.”
“But, it hasn't...has it?” Betty said.
Wembley looked like he was about to cry. “No.”
“Wait a minute.” Jughead said. “You mean to tell me that this has happened before at other schools?”
“Jughead, you have to understand.” Wembley said. “When I was younger, after my parents died, I moved around a lot. I was lucky if I only had to attend four schools a year. It wasn't easy to make new friends, so I basically just kept quiet. When my uncle and aunt finally decided to settle in Riverdale a year ago, I thought that I could finally start to open up to people, but at Hadley High, the kids used to make fun of me there, so I just closed up. It's been like that since I transferred to Riverdale High.”
“I'm guessing you transferred to this school from Hadley because of the bullying.” Betty said.
“Yeah.” Wembley said. “I thought that this school would be better than Hadley High, but those guys from the football team did all the same things that the kids at Hadley did to me.”
“Is it the whole football team doing this?” Jughead asked.
“Yeah, our friends Reggie and Moose are on the team, and I can't see them doing anything that horrible.” Archie said.
“Well, Reggie calls me names.” Wembley admitted. “But, it's mostly Clay and Johnny doing the worst. I don't think the other members of the team even know that they're doing it.”
“I knew Clay was bad news.” Veronica said. “I once went on a date with him. It was the worst date that I had ever had. He was so rude, and boorish. I'll never make that mistake again. Looks like Johnny's following in his footsteps.”
“Wembley, this is serious.” Jughead said. “You have to tell someone about this.”
“No, it's fine.” Wembley said. “It's nothing.”
“Dude, someone taking your backpack and throwing it in the garbage isn't nothing.” Jughead said. “I'm guessing that Clay and Johnny were bugging you when I first met you, didn't they?”
“I don't want to talk about this.” Wembley said.
“Wembley, you have got to tell Coach Kleats.” Archie said. “Or, Miss Grundy, or Mr. Weatherbee.”
“We'll all go with you.” Betty said.
“Absolutely.” Veronica said.
“I tried going to the teachers at Hadley High, and they didn't do anything.” Wembley said. “In fact, it just got worse.”
“That was Hadley High.” Jughead said. “This is Riverdale High. The teachers really care about the students here, and I know that if you gave them a chance to help you, they would.”
“I don't know.” Wembley said.
“Wembley.” Jughead said. “What Clay and Johnny are doing is wrong. They don't have the right to make anyone feel bad. And, they certainly don't have the right to pick on you. You have the power to change this. Let us help you.”
Wembley looked around at Jughead, Betty, Archie, and Veronica and realized that maybe, just maybe, they knew what they were talking about.
“Would you all come with me?” Wembley said. “To Mr. Weatherbee's office? It might be easier for me to talk about it if I had you guys with me.”
“You got it.” Jughead said.
“You're doing the right thing, Wembley.” Veronica said.
Wembley sighed. “I hope so.”

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