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I encase myself in my own world when I come here. I no longer care what they think. Why should I? They’ve never noticed before.
My tall, lanky body jolts back and forth as I sway from side to side. The desk does not hold me well. The teacher drones on and on. I lapse into another daydream about rock-climbing, only to be awakened by the end-of-day bell.
“Miss Panvora, please stay after class,” Mr. Jet’s long, bony fingers tap the desk as he scowls with a lengthy stare. I shrink down in my chair as the other kids file out of the room. I’ve never liked talking to people. Once in the fifth grade I went two weeks without talking. Never even uttered a sound. “Miss Panvora, your failing this class again. Is everything going alright? What about at home? Are things ok there?”
How do I answer that? The truth? My mom has mysteriously disappeared off the face of the planet and my dad’s been dead for five years with no one knowing. That I’m left with my three year old brother who was smuggled from Mexico when he was only two. That I’m the only legal citizen in my family. That each day I wonder if I’ll make it to the next? The only relief comes from climbing in the mountains with my friend Jay.
“Everything’s fine,” I mutter, barely audible above the crowd in the hall all to anxious to get home.
“Are you sure?” Mr. Jet’s face looks genuinely worried. I open my mouth to tell the truth but no words are prepared to. Sometimes I think I’ve lived a lie so long that when comes time for the truth, only the lie exists. I am saved from answering by his little blue flip phone ringing some cheesy song from the 60’s. He gives me a quick look. “Stay.”
I could hear outside the classroom. It echoed eerie footsteps of a single person while I’m left alone in my chair.
16. I’m only 16. Why do I have to deal with this? If Mr. Jet finds out what’s going on, my brother might be deported. I could never let that happen to Miguel. We’ve worked to hard-
“Ok. Miss Panvora. There’s something you’re not telling me. Look. You have a week left until summer. After that I don’t think I’ll be able to help you.” So he would give up on me? My voice suddenly filled with rage and my blood boiled deep in my veins.
“Than give up on me! Everyone else has!” I tried to make a beeline for the door but his hand grabbed my shoulder and pulled me back. My voice was low and full of hate. “You couldn’t help me if you even tried! Even if you wanted to help you wouldn’t dare. Nobody knows what’s going on with me. Nobody cares!”
“That’s what you think is it? If you think that’s even remotely close to being true look me in the eyes and tell me that. Than you can go.” I couldn’t bring myself to even turn around. My long dark hair was tied away from my face and it jumped up and down as I jolted from the room.
Trent was standing outside the door. His short blond figure followed me down the stairs. “F. you, you wet back!” he shouted as he grabbed at my wrists. My books fell loudly to the ground.