13 year old Sasha finds out she must become a foster child when her father robs a bank.
|I Am a Foster Child
By Lillia Jane Marshes
Chapter 1: I Become a Foster Child
My alarm went off and I groaned. I rolled over and slapped my hand onto my desk. Fat! I thought, sitting up and shaking my hand to stop the stinging. With my other hand, I hit the top of my clock, turning off the alarm. I got up and crossed the room to the large mirror over my desk and looked at my reflection. I groaned, and rubbed my eyes. I had had another acne attack during the night, and now I had small red bumps all across my forehead, cheeks, and chin. I grabbed my clothes from where I had left them hanging on my chair and ran into the bathroom. I skidded slightly on the wet floor and closed the door. The peeling wallpaper and the dim light made me feel like I was in a haunted house, and I couldn't help but feel a little happy that Dad and I were moving again. We had arrived a week ago, and the moment I stepped into this apartment I had hated it, but Dad acted like it was a palace. Which I suppose it was compared to some of the hotels we've stayed in. I haven't made any friends at school yet, so I wasn't very upset when he told me that we were moving so again. This time it was to Chicago, which I supposed wouldn't be too bad. I would have preferred to stay in a small town like this one, but Dad was in charge.
I pulled on my jeans and my old blue t-shirt. Dad keeps trying to get me to wear girlier clothes, but when I told him pink mini skirts and knee-high stiletto boots weren't my thing, he accepted it. I pushed my way through the door while running a brush through my hair and glimpsed Dad running out the door with a briefcase.
“Where you goin', Dad?” I called out.
He turned and smiled at me. “Just to the bank, Sasha,” He said.
“Maybe you should shave first,” I said.
He felt his face, then shrugged. “It's not that bad. Have fun at school. Remember, we're leaving this afternoon.”
My smile vanished. “I thought we were leaving Friday.”
“I didn't tell you? There's been a change in plans.”
“Obviously.” I mumbled. “I've really got to get to school.” I said. I took my Keds from the top drawer of my dresser and put them on, purposely ignoring him. I grabbed my skull cap off a hook, my skateboard from behind my desk, and my helmet from my dresser and was about to push past Dad when he put his hand on my shoulder, forcing me to stop.
“I'm really sorry about us having to move so much.” He said.
I shrugged, not looking at him. “It's not like I actually have any friends to miss.” I said. Then I pushed past him and ran down the hallway. I saw Mrs. Sidney, our nosy neighbor from down the hall, get on the elevator, and I decided to take the stairs instead. We live on the thirteenth floor, and the stairs are pretty rickety, so I think I'm pretty much the only one in the building who uses them. Once I got down to the third floor, I jumped over four steps and hopped onto the banister. I slid down the stairs , shifting my weight as they curved around, and jumped off a few feet before it ended. I ran into the lobby, ignored the clerk, and jogged out into the street. I strapped on my helmet, then jumped on my skateboard and started the ten minute trip to school.
. . .
School was pretty normal; everyone ignored me and I ignored everyone else, until third period. We were having a math test, which I was having trouble with. I was trying to figure out what the square root of five hundred seventy-four was when the intercom turned on with a crackle.
“Will Sasha Smith please come to the main office. I am sorry for the interruption.”
I froze, and everyone in the room turned to stare at me. I hunched my shoulders, wishing I had done something to my zits this morning. I ran over to the teacher's desk and grabbed the hall pass he handed me, and got out of there as fast as my legs could carry me. I shoved the pass deep into my pocket and ran down the stairs two at a time. When I opened the door to the office at the front of the building, I stopped short. There was a police officer talking with the receptionist, a gun and a taser on his belt. There was also a short woman in the corner who had a hooked nose and sunken eyes, making her look more like a vulture than a human.
“Um . . .” I said. Everyone turned as one to look at me, then the police officer walked over.
“You're Sasha Smith?” He asked.
“Yeah, but I don't think I've done anything illegal.” I said.
He smiled, and said. “No, you didn't do anything. Actually . . .” He paused, looking at me nervously and licking his lips.
“Actually, it was your father who did something illegal.” The woman with the hooked nose said.
I stared at her. “What?”
“He robbed a bank this morning.” The policeman said gently. I stared at him again.
“No.” I said. “No he didn't. He was just going to . . . to . . . he was just making a withdrawal.”
“Yes, he did make a withdrawal. It just wasn't his money.” The policeman said.
“Wh-Where is he?” I asked, still not believing all this.
The woman glanced at the officer, then said, “He's in jail.”
“What?!” I yelled. “He can't be in jail!”
“Your father has a record of doing this kind of thing, Sasha.” The policeman said. “We just haven't caught him until now. I'm guessing that you two move around a lot. That's because he's been trying to escape the law.”
“But . . . but . . .” I stuttered. I couldn't believe this.
“We have a video of him holding a gun on the teller at the bank and telling her to give him thirty thousand dollars.” He said.
My mind was reeling. Dad couldn't be in jail. He couldn't have robbed a bank. He wasn't that kind of person. Or was he? I didn't know what to think. I looked up at the officer.
“When can I see him?” I asked.
“We're still working that out. We'll try to make it as soon as possible.” He answered.
“What's going to happen to me?” I asked.
“I think Annie should tell you that,” He said, gesturing to the woman in the corner. She walked up to me and sighed.
“This is never easy.” She said. “Sasha . . . you can't stay with your father any more, obviously. At the least you'll be apart until the trial is over, if he's proven innocent. But if he's proven guilty, you won't see him again for years.”
“Years?” I said, incredulous.
“Years.” She said. “So for the time being, you're going to be taken in by a foster family.”
“A foster family,” I said. “Like, a bunch of people I don't know who are only taking care of me because they're getting paid? That kind of foster family?”
“No!” The woman said. “The family you're going to is wonderful and caring and-”
“Getting paid,” I said.
“Well, yes-” She said.
“See! They don't care about me, they care about the money!” I said.
“That's not true!” Annie said.
“When am I going?” I asked, changing topics slightly.
“Now.” She said.
“Now?” I said. “But I was in the middle of a math test!”
“We need to introduce you to your new family as soon as possible.” She said kindly.
I glared at her. “All right,” I said, anger building up inside me. “I'll meet them. I'll live with them. But they are not my family. And they never will be.” Annie's eyes widened and she looked surprised. Well, what did she expect, for me to be all happy that my father, the only family I had, was in jail for robbing a bank and I was going to live with a bunch of complete strangers?
“Sweetie,” The receptionist said. “You should go get your things from your locker and give you hall pass back to your teacher.” She handed me a new hall pass and I grabbed it sourly, then turned and stormed out. Halfway up the stairs, I paused, looking down at the reason the receptionist had written for why I was leaving school early. All it said was 'Extreme Circumstances'. I snorted, and looked at the security camera in the corner.
“Extreme circumstances?” I said to it. “Extreme circumstances! I just learned that my father robbed a bank and I'm now a foster child and all that stupid receptionist writes is 'Extreme Circumstances'?!” Then I picked up a pencil lying on the floor and threw it at the camera and turned away. When I got back to my third period room, everyone was done their tests and were talking, but when I walked in, everything got quiet instantly. Then a boy said,
“What'd you do?” He snickered and I felt like I was going to explode.
“You want to know what happened?” I screamed. “My father robbed a bank, that's what happened! So congratulations, now I'm a foster kid and you'll never have to see me again!” I threw both hall passes at the teacher and ran out of the room. Behind me, everything was completely silent.
Chapter 2: I Meet My Foster Family
“Sasha,” Annie said. “This is Mr. and Mrs. Davis, and their children, Alexis and Margo.”
“Hello, Sasha,” Mr. Davis said. “We've heard a lot about you.”
“Sasha, Annie didn't say you were so beautiful,” Mrs. Davis said.
“I like your hair,” Alexis, who looked about eight, said.
“What are those bumps on your face?” Margo asked, who was maybe five years old.
I crossed my arms. “Hi.” I said. It had taken Annie almost two hours to drive me out here to meet my foster family. We hadn't been able to go back to the apartment because the police thought Dad might have stashed stolen money there, so all I had was my backpack, the clothes I was wearing, and my skateboard. Even though it was only early afternoon, it was so overcast that it was already getting dark and pretty cold, so Annie had given me a leather jacket she had found in the donations box at her office. It fit pretty well, but I must have been quite a sight to the Davis's. The daughter of a law-breaker wearing a leather jacket and a skull cap, holding a skateboard, and covered in zits shows up on their porch and they had to take care of her. Well, too bad for them, I didn't want to live here either.
“I should probably go so you five can get acquainted.” Annie said. She shook the Davis's hands, then hurried down to her sedan and drove off. I think she just wanted to finally be free of me.
“Come on inside and we'll show you your new room, Sasha.” Mrs. Davis said. I followed her in, Alexis and Margo pestering me with questions the whole time. Finally Mr. Davis told them to leave me alone, and I looked around their house. Their front door opened into a small foyer, with stairs going up to the right and a wall covered with pictures to the left. Straight through an open door in front of us was a kitchen and another door that probably went to the basement. Mrs. Davis led me up the stairs and through the last door on the right side of the hall. It was a pretty big room, definitely bigger than the room I had had in the apartment. The bed was a twin by the looks of it, definitely looked cleaner than the one I had slept in at the apartment. The walls were painted light blue and there was a large window with a window seat at the other end of the room. Perpendicular to the window was a large, roll-top desk with a swivel chair that looked brand new. Opposite the bed was a hard wood vanity with a cushioned chair in front of it, and a dresser next to that. An empty bookshelf stood beside the window, and a small bedside table next to the bed. The closet was on the same wall as the door, and two large, white sliding doors covered it. The carpet was dark blue and really soft, and also looked brand new.
“Whoa.” I said, my mouth falling open.
“Do you like it?” Mrs. Davis asked.
“It's-” I started, then remembered who I was talking to. “It's cool. Where can I put my skateboard?”
“You should probably keep that in the garage.” She said. “I'll take it down for you.” She took it from me, and I felt a pang, like she was separating me from an old friend. “We bought you some clothes but we weren't sure what size you are, so they might not fit right. We can go shopping for more tomorrow.”
“But there's school tomorrow.” I said.
She shook her head. “There are teacher meetings at your new school tomorrow.”
“Oh,” I said. I had never missed school because of teacher meetings before. “How long have you known I was coming? How did you have time to go out and buy me clothes and set up this room?”
“Oh, the room already looked like this. This was our guest room. We found out at about eleven this morning. There wasn't much time, but I wanted to be prepared with clothes, and Annie told me you were thirteen, so I had to guess at what size you would be.” I cringed. Elven o'clock was when I had yelled at my math class and left that school forever. Annie must have called them from the office while I was gone.
“Someone will come get you when dinner's ready, so in the meantime, go ahead and explore the house.” Mrs. Davis said. “I really hope you like it here, Sasha, and I am very sorry that we had to meet in this set of circumstances.” I grunted, and she paused, like she wanted to say something else, but I crossed my arms and stared away. She sighed, then left. I flipped the light switch, and a fan came on on the ceiling. I looked again, and flipped the other switch, and this time the light on the fan came on. I walked over to the bed, and sat down on it. It was soft, a lot softer than any of the other beds I've slept in. The room was very pretty, but there was no way I was going to tell this . . . this replacement family that. I kicked off my shoes and tossed my leather jacket onto the bed, and went over to the window seat. I had an awesome view of the mountain behind the Davis's house. I sat down on the seat and tugged at the pale blue curtains. It was strange that all the paint I had seen in this house was red except in this room. As the curtains fell over me, I heard Alexis yelling at someone.
“Sandy, no! You can't eat my dolls!” I laughed silently. This Sandy could be kind of cool. Everything was quiet for a while, then I saw something small run into the room. It came straight over to the window and put its front paws on the seat. I pushed the curtains off its head, revealing a tiny puppy.
“Aw,” I said. I couldn't help it. I'm a sucker for any kind of dog, and this one was just plain adorable. “Hey, boy,” I said, scratching its ears. I picked it up and put it in my lap. It was a tan kind of color, and I noticed that it had a metal tag attached to its collar that said 'Sandy' in big letters.
“So you're the one who tried to eat Alexis's toys,” I said to him, holding him up to my face. He wriggled and dropped onto my lap and stuck his nose up to the window. “You like the view, huh boy? I do too.” I scratched his neck and he rolled over so I could scratch his stomach. After a while, he got up and started wriggling and whining. “Oh, you gotta go, boy? Well, come on then.” I picked him up and got out of the window seat. I walked downstairs with him and into the foyer. I was about to walk into the kitchen when I heard someone say my name. I froze and listened.
“What do you think about Sasha, honey?” Mr. Davis asked.
“I don't know.” Mrs. Davis replied. “Annie said we should ask her if she wants to see the surveillance footage at the bank, but I'm afraid to ask. She just seems so . . .”
“Defensive?” Mr. Davis suggested.
“Well can you blame her?” Mrs. Davis said. “Her own father . . . but we shouldn't be talking like this. He is innocent until proven guilty.”
“Yes, but we've seen the footage. There's no doubt it was him.” Mr. Davis countered.
“That's exactly why I don't want her to see it.” Mrs. Davis said.
“I suppose you're right, but we still have to ask her. I feel so bad for her.” Mr. Davis said.
“So do I.” Mrs. Davis said.
“I just wish that she-” Mr. Davis started, but stopped when I stepped into the room.
“Here's your dog.” I said, depositing him on the floor. “And by the way, I don't need your sympathy.” Then I turned and went back upstairs. I heard someone following me, but I shut the door to my bedroom and locked it. I felt a tight feeling in my chest that I knew well; it wasn't sadness. It was pure anger. It felt like someone was wringing out my lungs very forcefully and trying to tie my heart in a knot at the same time. I was angry at my dad for being stupid enough to do something like this. I was angry at my replacement family for thinking I needed their sympathy. I was angry at Annie for bringing me here. I was angry at myself for not realizing what Dad was doing. I was angry at the kids at school for mocking me. I was angry at the police for arresting my dad. And I was angry at the receptionist at school for making my problem seem so simple that it could be summed up in two words. I was angry at the whole world.
I took my leather jacket from the bed and threw it on top of the vanity. I glanced in the mirror and saw that, if possible, my acne had gotten even worse in the past day. Mrs. Davis knocked on my door and said,
“Sasha? Are you alright?” Mrs. Davis called.
“What do you think?” I yelled. “Just go away!”
“Sasha, I know I'm no replacement for your father, but I want you to feel free to talk whenever you need to.” She said.
“Sure. Yeah, that's gonna happen.” I said.
There was a pause, then she said, “Sasha, I am very sorry. I understand that you don't want to talk now, but if you ever need to, I'll be here. Feel free to talk whenever you want. I won't bring anything up until you do.”
I didn't say anything, so she continued. “I guess I'll go Sasha. We'll come get you at dinner, but you come down whenever you like.” Another pause, then, “I am very sorry, Sasha.”
I listened to her retreating footsteps and muttered, “Like that helps.” I sat down in the window seat, temper almost a boiling point, staring out at the mountain, lost in thought.
. . .
“Sasha, dinner is ready.” Mr. Davis said, knocking on the door. I waited a minute for him to leave, then opened the door and looked down the hallway. No one was there, so I crept out, closing the door behind me. I went slowly down the stairs, and into the kitchen, where everyone was seated around the kitchen table.
“Sasha, you can sit next to Alexis,” Mrs. Davis said as she scooped some peas onto her plate. I sat down without a word, glaring at anybody who looked me in the eye. I speared a hot dog from the plate in front of me with my fork, grabbed a bun from the bag and was about to take a bite when I noticed that all the Davis's had closed their eyes and folded their hands. I froze, realizing what was happening. Just my luck. I thought bitterly. I took a bite, not folding my hands or praying. They all opened their eyes and started talking, not noticing that I hadn't conformed. Then I completely zoned on the conversation until Alexis nudged me with her elbow. I looked up from my plate to find everyone staring at me.
“What?” I said.
“What you want to do tomorrow, Sasha?” Mr. Davis asked.
I shrugged. “I dunno.”
Mrs. Davis asked, “Have you tried on any of the clothes I bought you yet?”
“Nope.” I said.
“Why don't you do that after dinner, and tomorrow we'll go shopping for anything else you need?” She suggested.
“'Kay.” I said, and took another bite of my hot dog. I finished as fast as I could and pushed my chair back. Without a look back, I left the room and went back upstairs.
Back in my room, I warily pulled the closet doors open. From top to bottom, it was full of clothes: shorts, t-shirts, skirts, jeans, sweaters, turtlenecks, vests, and boxes and boxes of shoes, varying from size five to size twelve. I reached into the jungle and grabbed a pair of jeans. They were black, and almost three inches too long. I spent the rest of the night trying on shoes and clothes, eventually separating the ones that fit and the ones that didn't. I piled the ones that didn't fit on top of the vanity and took the one pair of pajamas I had found that fit and put them on. They were long pants made to look like jeans but were really very soft, and a tight, form-fitting shirt with a star printed in the middle. I locked the door and climbed into bed. My last thought before I fell asleep was, At least the bed is soft . . .
Chapter 3: Shopping
I woke up the next morning at sunrise; I had accidentally left the curtains open on the window so the room was already bright. I groaned and pulled the curtains back over the window, but it was too late. I was already too awake to go back to sleep. I looked at the digital clock next to my bed and saw it wasn't even eight in the morning yet. Might as well get up. I thought. It's not like I'll be able to get back to sleep. I put on a dark purple long sleeved shirt and a pair of blue jeans. I added on my skull cap, Keds, and leather jacket and felt almost normal. After a moment of hesitation, I grabbed a wad of cash from my backpack and stuffed it in my pocket for shopping. I left the room as quietly as I could and crept downstairs. No one was awake yet, so I let myself through the door on the other end of the kitchen, which did lead to the basement. I went into the garage and, after a little searching, found my skateboard and helmet. I went out onto driveway and looked around. It was pretty big, definitely big enough to practice some tricks. I spent the next hour and a half practicing my spin flips, 180's, and Ollies. On my last circuit around the driveway, I noticed a kid walking up the street and staring at me. That's all I need, I thought. An audience. I did a 360 degree turn in midair, then skated down to the bottom of the driveway, where the boy had stopped. I powerslided to a stop and glared at him.
“What do you want?” I asked him.
“I've never seen a girl skate before.” He said.
“Great.” I said. “Can you go now?”
“I don't know,” He said. “I don't really want to.” He leaned against a tree next to the driveway and smirked at me.
“Whatever.” I said, and went back up the driveway. One kid wasn't going to stop me from having fun. Just as I got back up to the top of the driveway, he called out. Not words, just noise. He's trying to distract me, I realized. He wants me to mess up. But that wasn't going to work on me. I had been skateboarding to school my entire life and could ignore everything from sirens to crying children. So I continued to execute every trick in the book perfectly until I heard Alexis yell, “Mommy, come look!” I looked up and saw her at a window, watching me in awe. Despite myself, I smiled up at her and did an Ollie. Mrs. Davis joined her at the window and said, “Sasha, there you are. Come inside to eat so we can leave early to go shopping.” I sighed and jumped off my skateboard. The guy walked up the driveway and said, “Better go, Sasha. Your mommy wants you to eat breakfast.” I turned to him and grabbed his shirt, lifting him slightly off the ground.
“She is not my mother.” I said. The tight feeling of anger returned, and I threw him onto the ground. “And if you know what's good for you, you'll never come back here again.” He nodded, and ran away down the driveway and into the street. I grabbed my skateboard and went back inside, fuming. I threw my it on the floor next to one of the cars and walked slowly upstairs. When I finally got there, Mrs. Davis was setting scrambled eggs, bacon, and steaming biscuits on the table.
“Got to eat a good breakfast so we'll have lots of energy for shopping.” She said cheerfully. I sat down hard next to Alexis and grabbed a slice of bacon.
“Sasha, you were so cool.” Alex is said, looking up at me excitedly. I grunted, but Mrs. Davis looked up at me, surprised.
“What were you doing out there Sasha?” She asked.
Before I could answer, Alexis said, “She was doing tricks, Mommy! She was twirling and jumping!”
I took a spoonful of eggs, not saying anything, then said, “I've been skating for awhile.” I didn't want to talk, but Mrs. Davis pressed me anyway.
“How long is awhile?” Mrs. Davis asked, sitting down.
I shrugged. “'Bout seven years,”
“Seven years!” Mrs. Davis exclaimed. I didn't reply; instead I took a bite of bacon. She looked at me and sighed, then changed topics, saying, “You'll have to brush your hair again before we go.”
I looked at her incredulously. “I never brushed my hair the first time,”
“Well, that explains it, doesn't it?” She said. She gestured to the door to the right of the kitchen. “Go through the living room. There's a bathroom with a brush and comb on the other end.”
I grunted, threw my bacon back down on my plate and got up. I pushed through the door and into the living room, where Sandy was playing with a ball twice as big as him. He kept lunging at it, hitting it with his front paw, then having it roll away from him. After a moment, he jumped and landed on top of it, splayed out. He grabbed part of the ball in his mouth and shook his head, which made it start to roll again; every time it rolled over him he whimpered.
“Gosh, boy,” I said, picking him up. When he saw me he started panting and straining to lick my face. “Come on,” I said. I kicked the ball out of the way and grabbed a plastic bone more his size. “Fetch!” I said, and tossed it across the room toward the door to the kitchen. As soon as I put him down he tore after it, and I went through the other door to the bathroom, and closed the door. I washed my hands to get rid of the puppy spit feeling and looked around for a brush. I didn't see one, so I started raking my fingers through my hair. I thought about everything that had happened in the past day and all of a sudden felt an urge to scream. Instead I punched the wall next to the mirror with as much force as I could muster. My hand instantly started to hurt, but one half of the mirror swung outward, and I jumped back. I grabbed it and saw that there was a cabinet behind the mirror, which swung open on hinges, that was stocked with everything from Ibuprofen to anti-itch formula to a brush with a carved wooden handle. I grabbed the brush and combed my hair hurriedly, then slowed down because there were so many knots in my hair that if I went too fast I would scalp myself. Finally, when my hair was about half brushed, I left the bathroom and nearly hit Sandy in the nose with the door. He jumped back and whined, and dropped his bone.
“No, boy,” I told him. “I didn't want you to bring it back to me,” I held my hands high so he couldn't lick them and strode across the room. I pushed open the door and re-entered the kitchen, where Mrs. Davis was replacing her wallet in a large, red purse and Alexis was dancing around singing a Miley Cyrus song.
“Are you ready to go, Sasha?” Mrs. Davis asked without looking up. I grunted, which she must have taken as a yes, because she kissed Alexis on the cheek and grabbed a coat from a hook by the basement door. “Let's go before the crowds get there,” I walked to the door slowly and went down behind her, ignoring Alexis.
I climbed into the passenger seat of the minivan parked in the garage. As Mrs. Davis buckled her seat belt, I propped my feet up on the dashboard. She glanced over and sighed, but didn't say anything. It took about twenty minutes to get to the local mall, during which Mrs. Davis tried to get me to start talking, and I took care to reply as shortly as possible. When we finally got there I jumped out of the car, and walked away.
“Sasha, where are you going?” She called.
I turned around, staring at her. “Shopping,” I said.
“Well, at least wait for me to get out of the car,” She replied, grabbing her purse.
“Wait a minute,” I said. “You're coming with me? How old do you think I am, ten?”
She stopped, then came over to me and said, “How about this, I'll be in the same store as you, in the woman's section, and you can shop on your own. Just come get me if you want to buy something.”
“'Kay,” I said, and turned away again. She followed a few steps behind me, walking slowly like all grownups do. I pushed through the double doors into the mall, not bothering to hold it open for Mrs. Davis. There was a map on the wall, and I glanced at it, looking for a decent store. There was no American Eagle, not one good store with stylish clothes. There was only stuff like JC Penneys, Aeropostale, Sears, Walmart, and Kohl's. I made a noise in my throat, and headed towards Sears, because it was the closest, and the second biggest, and I point-blank refused to shop for clothes in Walmart. I ran through the open entrance and turned left immediately, hoping to lose Mrs. Davis as soon as possible. I cut through the Juniors section and went straight to the shoes, glancing over my shoulder every few moments. Once I was confident she wasn't behind me, I stopped and looked at the shoes. The only pair that caught my eye were knee-high black boots with a low heel. After looking around a little more, I had a pile of boxes next to my chair that was pretty impressive. I tried them on one by one, got a few different sizes, and ignored the saleslady when she asked if I needed any help. After having eliminated most of the pile, I payed for the rest, including the boots I had seen at first. Hefting the heavy bag, I wandered into the Juniors section. After an hour of looking and trying on clothes I had an impressive pile of jeans, t-shirts, sweaters, vests, and hats. I payed for it all at the checkout and looked around for Mrs. Davis. I didn't see her, and since I technically had looked for her, but not found her, she couldn't blame me for going to another store.
I was just about to leave when I heard her call out, “Sasha!” I groaned inwardly, and turned around. “Where are you going?” She asked, catching up to me.
I shrugged. “Shopping.” I noticed a group of girls about my age watching us intently from behind a mannequin displaying a hideous green skirt.
“How did you buy all that?” She asked, gesturing to my many bags.
“Money . . .” I said.
“Where did you get the money?” She asked.
“My backpack this morning.” I said. “What, did you think I would go to the mall without money?”
“I didn't know you had money,” Mrs. Davis said.
“Great,” I said, and turned away again. I could hear the girls giggling, but ignored them.
“Where are you going now?” She called to me.
I sighed heavily, and said, “I'm going to JC Penneys,” Then, without waiting for a reply, I walked away, my bags hitting my legs with every step. Penneys was at the other end of the mall and I had noticed that Mrs. Davis was holding a couple of pants and shirts, which she was hopefully going to try on so it would take a long time for her to find me again. As I walked through the mall, I ignored the stares of people when they saw my acne, skull cap, and leather jacket. My anger was building up again, and I could tell it would be a long time before it went down again. This had not been a good day.