Little Differences

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The next morning is no different than usual. We get into school and into first period and await our teacher’s arrival. “Sorry, I’m late children, I got a late start this morning”, says Mrs. Rizen. “Today, we are going to be working in groups. I have already assigned you to your groups and there will be no changes made”, she says to us. “Look for your name in the center of the table and that is where you sit”, she continues.

Everyone gets up from their assigned tables and search for their names on the index card in the center of the room. I find my name on table 3 and I sit there. Alani comes and sits down right across from me. At first, she doesn’t look at me but then she begins to stare at me. I mean she is staring hard. For a second, I think I have something on my face. I wipe my hand across my face, feeling for any eye crust or loose boogers that may be causing her to stare at me so. I come away with nothing, so I begin to start on the group project.

“Mrs. Rizen, can you please send Alani Yang to my office?” That’s our principal, I wonder what she wants with Alani. Before I can dwell on Alani being called to the principal office, my thoughts are interrupted by Mrs. Rizen’s high-pitched voice. “Class, the school trip to Sea World is only 3 weeks away. If you plan on going, turn your permission slips in before the end of next week.”

Wait, did I ever turn my permission slip in. So much has been going on over the past couple of days that the Sea World trip hasn’t entered my mind much. I open my paper filled backpack and I manage to dig out my homeroom folder. I open it up and there staring back at me, is my permission slip. I snatch it out and race up to Mrs. Rizen desk to turn it in just as the bell rings for us to go to our next class.

Jessie and I meet up and walk to our next class together, as we do every day. “Hey, did you here”, Jessie says excitedly. “No, hear what”, I ask. I was totally unprepared for what Jessie said next. “The police came and took Alani away. I guess someone turned her in for playing tricks on people. I hear she’s going to the big house for a long time”, she says without ever coming up for air. “What? No way. She’s only a kid, she can’t go to jail”, I tell Jessie. “Plus, you only heard those things which means that they may not be true.” “Did you turn your permission slip in?”, I ask Jessie, to get her to change the subject. “Yep, did it first thing Monday”, Jessie says with a big grin. We get into our literature class and take our seats next to each other. I try to pay attention, but I can’t help but think about Alani. Could she have been taken to jail by the police? No, it couldn’t be true. Something does smell fishy around here though and I am going to find out what it is.

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