Diary of an American Girl

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"You will like Baldwin"

In the morning, Madison awoke to the sound of her mother knocking on her bedroom door. Sunlight streamed through the bedroom window as she opened her eyes. Her mother opened the door and leaned inside her bedroom. “Get dressed and come down and eat,” she said.

“No,” said Madison, pulling the blanket over her head. Seconds later, her alarm clock began beeping on stand beside the bed. She threw the blanket off and dangled her legs off the side of the bed. She reached down and silenced the alarm clock.

Madison changed into a lavender blouse and white shorts. She packed her cellphone and laptop into her backpack, and then she walked downstairs with it. Madison joined her mother in the dining room. Her mother had prepared eggs and toast with a side of mixed fruit. Madison pulled up a chair at the table and slouched in it. “Are you excited?” asked her mother, as she poured Madison a glass of orange juice.

Madison poked the yolk on one of the eggs with a fork. She tore a piece of toast off and dipped it in the egg yolk. “I’m tired,” she said.

Her mother took a seat at the table. There was a cup of coffee and a plate with toast in front of her. She took a sip of coffee and stared at Madison.

Madison looked up from her plate. “What is it?” she asked. “Do I have a zit?”

Her mother set the coffee cup on the table. “It’s your first day at Baldwin,” she said.

“So what,” said Madison, her forehead wrinkling. She slurped down orange juice.

“You will like Baldwin,” said her mother. She dipped her toast into her coffee.

“You’re going to be late for work,” said Madison.

“I called in earlier,” said her mother. She took a bite of toast. “I talked to Mrs. Granger yesterday. She told me that she runs a shuttle up to Baldwin. She’ll take you starting Wednesday.”

“Lovely,” said Madison. “Just lovely.”

“Madi,” said her mother, “I want you to try to get along there.”

Madison pushed her chair out. “Whatever,” she said, but as she stood, she felt something wet drip down her thigh.

Madison stood in the bathroom staring at herself in the mirror. There was an open box of pads on the vanity. She had used one of them.

As Madison stepped out of the bathroom, her mother walked past her. “I can’t find my keys anywhere,” she said.

“They’re on your bed,” said Madison. She checked her Chatspace account on her cellphone as she walked into the dining room. Becky had posted several pictures from the sleepover.

Her mother walked into the dining room with the keys dangling from her index finger. “They were on the bed,” she said.

“Told you so,” said Madison.

“Let’s go,” said her mother. “We’re already late.” She handed Madison her backpack. “Move it, young lady. Get off your phone. Move it!”

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