Emily walked out the front door of her house, fuming with rage. If only her mom had been a little less vain and self-absorbed, she could have gotten a ride to school. But her mom’s extensive beauty routine had taken much longer than expected, so Emily was forced to walk to school to avoid being late.
Emily’s mother, a former pageant queen, was definitely one of a kind. When Emily was a small girl, her mother would often cup her hands under Emily’s chin and look he in the eyes. “You’re going to look just like me someday.” She would smile and say. “But I will always be prettier.”
Jeez! What kind of a thing to do to a little kid! Emily thought on her trek to Grimm High School. Maybe her own mother was the reason why Emily was insecure in her looks.
Meanwhile, at home, the mother of the distressed walker was having a breakdown.
Emily’s mother, although confident, was paranoid. That morning, she had taken a good, long, look at her teenage daughter.
What she saw didn’t exactly shock her, but sent chills down her spine. The day she had been dreading looked like it had come. Emily was gorgeous. More gorgeous, in fact, than her mother.
“I don’t know what to do!” she cried on the phone with Bob.
Bob was her boyfriend that lived in New Jersey and often sent her money. Emily suspected he probably didn’t look much like the pictures he posted, but she’d never seen his face, nor had her mother.
The only thing Bob was good for was showing up in the wrong place at the wrong time, and giving terrible advice to Emily’s mother. Today seemed like a day were all three of Bob’s skills were on display.
“What you gotta do-” said the man matter of factly. “Is send her away for a little bit.”
Emily’s mom gasped.
“I could never!”
Bob sighed over the phone. “Listen, this is the only way to make sure people are looking at you, not her. I will call the school, pretend to be a disgruntled citizen, and say I caught Emily in the act of a crime. Then, when the school calls you, act surprised and hysterical. Claim that the only option you have left is to send her to military school.”
Emily’s mother sucked in her breath.
“Listen, when you and you daughter go out on the town, who do you want folks to be looking at? You or her? Exactly. If you do what I say, the brat will be gone within a week, and won’t come back for a couple of months.” Bob said, probably smiling evily behind the phone.
Emily’s mother nodded, holding back tears. “I’ll do what I must. You know what they say in the pageant world, ‘you shall do whatever it takes to win’.”
Bob grunted into the line. “Yeah, whatever.”
The dial tone played. The plan was in action.
Emily sat in third period, staring at the back of James’ head. It wasn;t like she did that often (okay, maybe she did) but she couldn’t help it. SHe’d liked James since the third grade.
As Mrs. Leer drined on about World War One, Emily wondered what her mother was up to. My crazy mother Emily thought what ever could she be doing?
Emily would bet any money she had in her tattered old wallet that James had a perfect family.
When Mrs. Leer’s phone rang, Emily snapped out of her daze.
“Miss White,” Mrs. Leer said “It’s for you. Go to the office.”
Emily got up from her seat with no argument. She was a good student, she had probably just forgot to turn in some paperwork or something.
She strolled down to the office on the first floor, entering quietly. SH ewnet to sit down, but Mr. Brown was already standing at the doorway of his office.
“Miss White,” he said. “Come on in.”
She stepped into the office and grimaced, this could not be good. Mr. Brown, and kind and easygoing man, had never looked this disappointed before.
“Miss White,” he started. “I was just called by a citizen who cared to so kindly inform me that he saw you giving out answers to the latest history test right outside of the school. Is this true?”
“N-” Emily started.
“I was also called-” Mr. Brown continues. “By your mother. WHo claims she is so disappointed in you that she would like to send you to Sewlens Academy for the reform of young girls, 40 miles north of here.”
My mother! Of course! Emily thought.
“It’s not true, Mr. Brown, please, you have to believe me.” Emily thought for a second about throwing her mother under the bus, but then decided against it.
“You know I wouldn’t do that.”
Mr. Brown sighed. “I think what we’ll do,” he said shortly. ‘Is give you an after-school detention today.”
Emily breathed a sigh of relief.
“You’re a good kid, and I know that if the cheating situation did happen, it wouldn’t again. This will teach you your lesson just fine. I’ll tell your mother that I don’t believe reform school is necessary.”
“Than you!” Emily gasped, trying not to sound too relieved.
“Don’t thank me.” Mr. Brown sad matter-of-factly. “Go back to class.”
Emily got up from her chair, sighing internally. She was glad she had avoided the punishment at the hands of her wicked mother. But she still was angry, and she knew that she had a worse punishment waiting for her at home.
When the bell rang at 3 o’clock, Emily got up from her seat in math class. She had to go to this detention, and then figure out what to do.
She looked at the pink slip Mr.Brown had given her. Room 307, this was it. SHe inhaled and stepped in.
The seven kids sitting at their detention desks started up at her. Something told Emily that they weren’t expecting a newcomer. She smiled weakly.
Richard leaned back, with his arms crossed and an angry look on his face. He seemed to be the leader of the pack. Emily knew him, she thought, because he set fire to the bathroom once.
Mary Monson smacked on a piece of pink bubblegum. Everyone that knew Mary knew that grumpy was her only mood setting.
The only person that said hello to Emily was Ona. Emily didn’t know how Ona even got in detention, she was always so happy all the time. Maybe that got her into trouble.
Jake was sleeping on his desk, as usual.
Sasha was bent over a book, a soft blush rising on her cheeks. Emily didn’t think that she’d ever heard Sasha say anything.
Sasha didn’t do anything to get a detention, she just liked coming there.
In succession, Ray let out 10 sneezes. He was in Emily’s history class- his allergies were always acting up.
Finally, Katy giggled from the back corner, running a finger through her blond straight hair. Emily remembered her from English last year. She had sat in the back of the class, and once asked the teacher what a noun was.
At first glance, these seven different individuals reminded Emily of something. But she couldn’t put her finger on it. She let it go.
“Newcomer!” Richard cried, which sent Katy into a fit of giggles.
Ona shook Jake to wake him. “Look!” she pointed at Emily like she was an animal in a glass cage.
Mary grunted and pulled out her phone.
Ray had stopped sneezing long enough to give Emily a wave, but was overcome by his allergies again soon after.
Sasha stole a quick glance at Emily and bent back over, blushing harder.
“Sit.” Richard ordered, ad Emily did.
“We neer get newcomers here. THe don’t just hand out detentions like candy nymore.”
“Why not?” Emily asked.
“Take a look.” Rich said, gesturing around the room.
There was no monitor in sight. Emily gasped.
“Nobody cares about detention anymore.” Ona adds. “So we’re just here.”
Emily nodded, and sat down. She sighed.
“Can I ask you guys for some advice?” she said.
The seven pairs of eyes bounced up and down as the students nodded.
“My mom is being a real nutcase recently.” Emily said. “She wants to send me to military school.”
“Why?” Katy asked.
“I don’t know. I just think we don’t see eye to eye.”
Ray sneezed again,and then gave Katy a somber look. “You know, I think you should talk to her. Maybe you guys are just having a rough patch.”
Emily nodded. “Thanks, guys.” she said, getting up, as there was no teacher in the room.
She looked at the seven dwarfs- er, students, sitting in front of her. “I’ll be back tomorrow.” she said thoughtfully, exiting.
As she started to walk home, she pulled her headphones in, becoming oblivious to the world around her. As she attempts to cross the street, she was yanked back by the hood of her sweatshirt. It was James.
“Woah!” the boy exclaimed as Emily staggered backwards. “Watch out! You almost got hit.”
“Thank you!” Emily said as a car whizzed past her left ear.
“It’s no problem, just remember to look both ways.” Daniel said, grinning. He looked at Emily thoughtfully. “Hey, if anything ever, you know, happens, you can talk to me.”
Emily shot him a confused look, but thanked him anyway. He turned the opposite direction dns started off.
Why was he behind her if he was walking the opposite way?
Today was a strange day Emily thought, as she unlocked her front door. Maybe she should take a nap when she got home.
But her mom was already waiting for her.
“Mom, we need to-” Emily started.
Her mom, with moist eyes, took a long look at her daughter. “Take this apple to eat, Emily. You look famished. We’ll talk later.
To Be Continued!