The next day, Buster was walking to school with Jenny.
"When we go see Lena after school, can we talk alone?" asked Jenny.
"Of course," said Buster.
"I wrote a note, so I'll give it to you in school," said Jenny.
"Okay," said Buster.
At school, Jenny handed it to him.
"You can read it before class or during free time," said Jenny.
In class, Buster took it out and reads that she has a big secret to share, which is why she asked to speak to him alone. He gave her thumbs up. He put it away before class started. His mom taught him to keep a friend's secret, but it's okay to tell any secrets to an adult that he trusts to keep them safe, which barely happens. He knows that Haylee is good with secrets, too. She's the only one who knows about secrets and promises not to repeat it to anyone.
At free time, some of the kids were working on their projects. Their teacher lets them do it during that time while she's on break. Some were almost done with their poster boards. They already passed in their written reports to save time.
At lunch, his friends knew he won the first play-off game yesterday. They all watch him on TV to cheer on him. They do that when he has an away game.
"It was a miracle that you won against Thunder," said Manny.
"I know. Did you notice it was me who broke the tie?" asked Buster.
"Yes, we all did," said Alex, Jr.
"That was luck you did that before the buzzer otherwise it would've been overtime," said Lenny.
"You just need to win two more games and you'll be in the finals," said Alexis.
"We'll see what happens," said Buster. "I was a bit nervous at first, but I knew I would make out fine right away."
"Good," said Manny.
"I even had a snack before the game to keep my blood sugar under control while I'm playing," said Buster.
"Smart idea," said Haylee.
"Did it work out for you?" asked Tina.
"Yes, thank goodness," said Buster.
"I can't wait to see the group this week," said Jenny.
"Same here," said Buster.
"I wonder if Becky would be coming, too," said Jenny.
"I didn't hear from Frank yet, so it must be a good sign that she's coming," said Buster.
"I remember him saying that to us," said Jenny. "She only gets a cold for three days."
"Like me sometimes," said Buster.
"And, I bet she might want to see Lena, too," added Haylee.
"I know. Her mom knows we can bring the group to her house if she can't make it to the game 3 or the skating event and thought it was a good idea to do so," said Buster.
"I remember you mentioning that to me," said Jenny.
"She's going to be surprised," said Anna.
"I agree," said Buster. "She doesn't know it yet."
"Good way not to spoil a secret," said Alexis.
"Exactly," said Buster.
After lunch, the kids were watching a movie to give them a break from the reports. Mrs. Pierce still decides to excuse the kids from their homework until everyone is completed with their reports.
After school, Jenny and Buster were walking to Lena's.
"There's something I haven't told Amanda or Mom," said Jenny.
"Like what?" asked Buster.
"I have been staying in touch with my father and grandparents even before I came here," said Jenny.
"You did?" asked Buster.
"Yes. There was one tiny problem: they made me promise not to say anything to Mom," said Jenny.
"Why?" asked Buster.
"They threatened to cut me off if I spoke up," said Jenny.
"Have you brought it up to Amanda?" asked Buster.
"No," said Jenny.
"I'm surprised to hear that because I thought you never had contract from them," said Buster.
"I know," said Jenny.
"Your father and grandparents should not threaten you like that," said Buster.
"I agree, but I had no choice," said Jenny.
"Imagine if Amanda knew about those threats? She would be the one who could ban them from having contact with you," said Buster.
"That's why I'm scared to tell her," said Jenny. "They'll blame it on me."
"The funny part is that your mom was the one who was looking for him to take you in," said Buster.
"I knew about it that part from Amanda," said Jenny.
"Would you be willing to live with them?" asked Buster.
"They asked me if I want to do so. I said yes," said Jenny.
"Did they know about your mom's illness?" asked Buster.
"Yes. I told them I'd do that when something happens to her," replied Jenny.
"That was a good plan," said Buster.
"They asked me to play along in case Amanda tells me when she comes to visit next Monday," said Jenny.
"Where are they living?" asked Buster.
"They're in Seattle," said Jenny.
"That's where I was born," said Buster.
"Lena already knew about this," said Jenny. "She already promised not to say anything."
"My secret is safe with me," said Buster.
But he knew if he kept quiet and if Jenny makes one slip, her father and his parents won't want her any longer. He's not sure how to handle this, so he just let it be for now. He didn't want Amanda to stop the phone calls or make that living arrangement to fall through. He knew it wasn't her fault that they made her promise not to tell her social worker.
They talked about it until they got to Lena's. They went in to see her who was in her room.
"I have Chemo tomorrow and won't be home until Thursday," said Lena.
"We came over at the right time," said Jenny.
"I know," said Lena.
They visited her for an hour before going home.
"Did you even tell Samantha about it?" asked Buster.
"No one knows about it. I don't want to tell any of the Hollowware kids," said Jenny.
He knew one of them have the habit with spilling the beans. He doesn't mention about that part. He thought about only telling Haylee since he trusts her. At home, he had free time until dinner. After dinner, he went to the phone to call Haylee and told her on what he learned from Jenny.
"I wouldn't want any contact if they threaten me like that," said Haylee.
"She had no choice to stay in contact with them," said Buster. "No one knew about it. She didn't want Amanda to stop any of that, which is why she was scared to speak up."
"If that was me, I'd speak up. I wouldn't care what they say to me," said Haylee.
"And, she's willing to move in with them," said Buster.
"I wouldn't bother if that was me as well," said Haylee. "I'd tell my parents right away."
"I would, too, but I don't want to get blamed from Jen," said Buster.
"I can see what you're saying," said Haylee.
"I know it's okay to tell an adult if a friend is in danger, but this was a bigger problem," said Buster.
"I know," said Haylee.
"What I don't get is that Mrs. Cooper has been looking for her former husband all this time with no luck to take Jen in," said Buster.
"I don't get it, either," said Haylee.
"You're the only one that I trust with secrets, which is why phone calls are the best way to share them," said Buster.
"I know," said Haylee.
"She told me that none of the Hollowware kids. She was afraid one of them could repeat that to Amanda," said Buster.
"A good friend would speak up," said Haylee. "Think of it this way: she would thank you for doing it."
"I know. I'll going to wait until Frank calls to tell him," said Buster. "I trust him, too."
After they finished talking, Buster put the phone away. He realized she was right about. It made him realized that it's never a good idea to keep a friend's secret about being threatened. He'd have to find a way to tell an adult before things get worse.
Then, he changed up and had free time until he went to bed before 9:30 pm.