Jeremy’s mom has a big heart and a terrible memory. Michael first notices this when the two of them are little kids. There are days when Jeremy shows up to school without lunch, a snack, or any explanation beyond mommy forgot. Eventually he takes to lying, because the teachers are making noise about food scarcity in the home, and how skinny he is, and the possibility of free or reduced price lunches. And thus Jeremy starts deliberately forgetting his backpack on the school bus on no-lunch days, so that he can blame himself for the missing food. Michael knows that Jeremy has enough to eat at home, because he’s over at Jeremy’s place almost every other day, and there are snacks galore; he still passes half of his sandwich over to Jeremy when he doesn’t have anything of his own, because that’s the whole point of friendship. On days when Jeremy does have lunch, sometimes his mom throws in practically an entire box of fruit roll-ups, with notes about how she loves him and hopes he’ll have a good day, and instructions about how he should share with Michael.
This issue stops being an issue in middle school, because Jeremy’s parents give him a choice of packing his own lunch from whatever is in the house, or else taking a few dollars from the jar on the kitchen counter, and buying something at the cafeteria. Usually Jeremy buys something. His mother finds new things to forget.
Jeremy is so like his mother that sometimes it hurts. He’s tall and thin like she is, and has the same shy smile. He can’t keep track of when his homework assignments are due, and though he’s not really abysmal at any academic discipline (except for geography, geometry, and apparently anything that starts with the prefix “geo”), he can’t keep himself together for anything other than rare and random bursts of stunning competence.
Artwork is by AO3 user Okayanna, who has not only been nice enough to draw some amazing art of my fic, Stammer, but also nice enough to let me repost it here.