Everybody has them. Will you choose to hide them?
Differences
CHAPTER
1
Skateboards, Ally and School
A lot of people look at me strange when they see a girl riding a skateboard. I love to watch the weary glance, the ‘come-on-get-out-of-the-way’, the double-take. They can’t mistake my long red hair for a guy, or my curvy appearance. I don’t see much of their expression past that though, I’m already zooming by.
I takes me barely ten minutes to get home, but I can tell trouble is coming from blocks away. Mom stands on the front porch, and I don’t need to see the look on her face to know I need to get ready for an outburst. Usually when I get home she is glued to the television screen, watching her soaps.
I skid to a stop in the driveway, pebbles flying up behind me.
“Mom?” I ask, “What is it.” Her face sharpens into points.
“You’re still riding that hoodlum board?” Mom stomps down the wooden steps, they creak under her hefty weight. She makes a grab for my board but I pull it away, realizing too late that I’ve made a mistake. Although my board is my baby, hand-crafted and hand-painted by an esteemed artist, it is one of a kind, but standing up to my Mom will cost me. Her face pinches further, tightening into an unrecognizable grimace. I know that she won’t yell too much, not outside in the sight of all of our neighbors, but she whispers harshly, spit flinging themselves, as if suicidal, at the ground.
“Get inside.” Her icy tone freezes my soul.
I enter the house slowly, making sure to leave the door open and the screen closed so that everyone can see through the doorway. I stand just in the entryway.
“I want you off that board. You know what I heard today?” I could guess, but I don’t say anything, “You have an E. In three classes!” Her lips tremble and she runs her tongue over them, lizard-like. I look down as if in disappointment at myself. I am a great actress.
After what seems like hours of lecturing, I look up and she finally seems satisfied. A small smile crests her thin lips. I slink away and she goes back to watching her soaps. That was our only interaction of the day.
Things were better when Ally was around. Ally wasn’t very pretty, she had a long nose and squinty eyes, but she was a kind peacemaker and could always work something out. I hope she will come home this weekend, but then I remember she is away for collage, living in England for the time being. I hope she’s doing all right, she never liked to travel. Sometimes in a crowd, when I see a head of bushy, brown hair, I imagine it’s her, and I rejoice for moments before the crowd whisks the girl away. She said she would be home in two months, and I count down the days.
In my bedroom it is dinnertime, but Mom doesn’t call me out so I don’t leave. I never tell anyone about my home life, they’d think she was abusive, and the thing is, she’s not. She yells a lot and we have a horrible relationship, but if I started going public, things would be even worse. For one, she’d yell even more, I’d also be taken away from the only home I’ve ever known, probably off to live with a weird aunt. I still think I can repair the relationship with my Mom, and we could be a happy family again. She hasn’t hit the bottle since a couple months after Ally left and she’s never done drugs as a mother. She isn’t broken, she’s just a little bent out of shape.
I turn on the computer to check my email. Ally’s email is everywhere on the page, I wouldn’t be hard pressed to find a section of the page with only her email address. A new email catches my attention, though. It’s from the principal. Seeing the registration form calling for a parent’s email, I had decided to fill it out on my own, and no one had been the wiser. The only true information I had on there was her phone number, which she hardly answers anyway. “Three ‘E’s!” is the subject, and I click on the email.
Anika currently has three ‘E’s in school. They are in gym, math and science. Mr. Mack said that he can simply not get through to her in math, it’s like she isn’t trying. Could you do something to help her? Please email back ASAP.
I think for a moment, he’s already talked to her on the phone, so he already knows she’s angry. She probably already said she would talk to him. Then I email back.
I will do everything in my power to make sure that girl brings her grades up.
I hit send. I know my Mom’s voice in her writing better than she does. With that handled, I scroll down to see if Ally has emailed. She hasn’t. I decide to email her.
Al,
How are you? I’m not doing so great. Although I’ve intercepted most calls to Mom via the principal, he got one through to her, and now she knows I’ve got three ‘E’s. I think I’ve handled it, finally. I guess I’ve got to get my grades up. How do suggest I do that? You know I’ve always been terrible with numbers and calculations, and that is all we’re doing in math and science. At least gym will be easy.
Luv ya :/
Ani
I’ve barely hit send when Mom marches into my room and demands to see all of my emails.
Hey guys! This is my first published chapter on Storybird, I hope to be coming out with more. Sorry if I mess something up, I’ll say that in advance! Any feedback is welcome (and encouraged!). I hope you liked it... good reading!!!

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Chapter 2

My Skateboard, a Mission and a Surprise

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