Chapter one, continued.
The kid was doing what he considered to be his greatest achievement: minding his own business. He had managed to make it to his final year of elementary school with no unfortunate nicknames, no reputation, no confirmed embarrassing moments. This involved a certain degree of solitude, but he considered that a small price at most. The reward was freedom, not only from mean-spirited playground gossip but also from being called on in class; his near-invisibility extended to the adult world as well. The kid had worked hard to cultivate this nondescript existence, and he cherished the ability he had to melt in and out of crowds, to be forgettable, to be unknown and therefore unjudged.