Analise looked out the car window on her way to school. The sun had not yet raised, but the weatherman had said it would be a sunny day. She dreaded arriving to her small school, in her small town, in her small state of Rhode Island. It was a quiet town and not much happened, but word traveled fast. If the Wisner’s air conditioning wasn’t working, for instance, the whole town would know by the end of the day, along with who would fix it and how much it would cost.
“I hope you have a great day at school!” her mother cheered, peering through the rearview mirror.
Ana quickly snapped out of her funk, smiled big and replied, “Thanks, Mom. I will.” Her mom was her best friend, but she didn’t ...view middle of the document...
But she knew she wouldn’t be able to make it on her own. She would need an adult. She would need someone that would stick with her, someone like her mom. But how could she ask her mother to run away with her? What would be the point? Why not just ask to move? Oh moving, if only they could afford it. Analise remembered the countless times she had casually mentioned the idea to her mother.
“Why on Earth would you want to move?” her mother would often question.
“I just thought a change might be nice,” Ana would always say, covering up the truth. That she really just wanted to start over and have friends, even just one, just one person to laugh with and talk with and cry with and be with.
“What about all of your friends?” her mother would inquire.
“We would keep in touch. We could text and…” She never knew just how to finish that one. She felt bad lying to her mom. And besides, she didn’t even know what friends did. She couldn’t remember the last time someone had talked to her, just because they wanted to.
Her next hour was science. Today was the day her class switched lab partners. She sighed. Analise had just gotten used to Haley. Now she would have to start all over with a whole new person.
Mr. Peterson started to read off the new lab pairs. “Brady and Lauren, Haley and Zoe…” Ana turned to say goodbye to Haley, but she had already run across the room to Zoe. She waited for several minutes to hear her name.
“Analise and Zack,” Mr. Peterson called at last. Ana could barely breathe.
She heard Zack from across the room. “Who’s Analise?” He didn’t know her, but of course she knew him. He was one of the boys that always misbehaved.
Great, she thought. She moved over next to Zack at their new lab station. Mr. Peterson explained the project for the class and told them to get to work. For a few minutes everything was going fine. Analise started to think that everything would be okay and that maybe Zack wasn’t as bad as she thought. That was until he started kicking her foot.
“Stop,” she would say calmly. “Please?” He ignored her, and instead went to another table, grabbed some of his friends and brought them back to her station. They taunted her with mean names and more foot kicking.
Finally, she decided to tell Mr. Peterson. “Please get them to stop!” she begged.
“Class, settle down. This type of behavior is unacceptable,” he said, returning to his stack of papers to be corrected. The boys continued to pick on her.
How could a teacher be so ignorant? Analise thought. This is it. I’m leaving tonight.
After school Analise ran home. She was alone; her mother was still at work. Up to her room she ran, opening her third dresser drawer and sliding to the side her neatly folded pajamas. Underneath was a large map. She stuffed it into her pocket and dumped her many belongings out of her backpack. She replaced the school supplies with several shirts, pants, a sweatshirt and a hat. She also packed two twenty dollar bills she had been saving from her...