1. The Secret
"Hurry up Haley! We're going to miss the bus!"
"Coming!" Haley Stuart is a young 11 year old girl living in Vancouver, British Columbia. She had tanned white skin from the summer's long sun out burst. Today was her fifth day of school in September and she was already beginning to pale. Haley batted her eye lashes trying to wake herself up. Her long, wavy light brown hair was getting in her way as she tried to do up her shoes. She was wearing a Polar t-shirt that her mom had just bought her yesterday with her new Falme pants matching her outfit and army-patterned bag. She would be set for school on the popular list. She had the in stuff and she was very beautiful by herself. She had one dimple on her cheek and pretty green-blue eyes. Her older sister Natalie had blonde-brown hair with blue eyes and paler skin.
"You're gonna get us kicked out for God's sake! Hurry up!" Haley's stubborn sister raised her head proudly and announced. "Logan is going to get me a lunch today too. So I don't want him to think I'm not there!" Haley sighed. All her sister cared about was boys! Hurrying herself, Haley grabbed all that she needed, kissed her mom good bye and ran to the bus stop. Just to her luck, her new friend Ashley Stone was there with her kindergarten sister, Erica.
"Hey!" Haley was greeted with a friendly hello. Haley sat beside her dark skinned friend.
"Hey. How's school so far for you?" Ashley danced with pleasure. Haley's Caribbean friend from Trinidad was very intelligent and loved going to school. Her parents loved science especially and that's why they're biologists and Ashley was the top science student so far.
Haley was so excited to go on the bus. I don't know who I'll sit by. As Haley entered the bus, the bus driver Lucy welcomed the four children with polite hellos.
"Good morning Mrs. Lucy." Haley heard Erica say. Lucy said her thanks to the young girl and called for all the students to find a seat.
"I gonna be off soon!" Haley hoped she could sit with Ashley but knew her friend was sitting with Erica so, she tried to find another girl her age. But every time she tried to sit down the other kids said,
"Taken." And all that took the seat was their backpack. When it was the last seat in the very back with a young girl Haley was expected to be sent away while the girl just simply said,
"You can sit here if you like." Haley was so amazed she froze and when the bus started moving the girl spoke again,
"Are you gonna stand there all day? Sit down!" Haley didn't want or need to be invited more than twice. She quickly sat down with the girl. She wanted to at least know her name.
"Hi I'm Haley, Haley Stuart. What's your name?" The girl didn't answer, so Haley studied her instead. She had very thick curly black hair that glowed auburn when the sun hit it. She wore pressed clean clothes that were casual but fitted. She had beautiful tanned skin that would go with any colour to Haley. Haley tried to see her eye colour but her eyes were clouded and it was hard to tell. A little piece of her wanted to be satisfied with a name.
"What's your name if I may ask?" She repeated. When the girl didn't answer yet again Haley was frustrated by her stubbornness. She looked out the window and realized the school was nearing. Tell me your darn name! Haley was going to try one last effort to get the girl's name and she prepared herself for more disappointment.
"Please… Tell me your name. I just want to know." Haley whispered. Then the girl turned to her and let out a sigh.
"My name's Josephina Smith. I come from Jamaica and have some French in me. Hello Haley Stuart. You're part English, Canadian and Australian I bet. With your accent it's really not hard to tell. Anyway, I bet you're new too. Did you just return from-?"
"-London, England, yes." Haley interrupted. Josephina smiled and picked up her backpack from the ground. Haley wanted to talk to her more to her but Mrs. Lucy had yelled,
"School stop!" While all the other kids got off the bus in a rush, Haley and Josephina slowed their pace to talk
"So…" Haley began knowing what her answer would be. "You switch schools? Cause I never saw you and Garter JM School before." Josephina nodded and heading for Haley's class line-up. Haley was puzzled. Josephina's in my class? Haley shook her head in confusion and followed Josephina. Just as she approached the line Seth White, the class bully went and pushed Harriet Bush with Wanda Hull.
"Hey twerp!" Seth easily pushed down the small Harriet. The blue eyed, ginger-haired girl started to bleed from the hard grovel and tears started to well up in her eyes. Seth was a very strong boy and very mean to the other students with Wanda. Ashley came over and pushed Seth aside glaring at him.
"Stop it! Your hurting Harriet! Don't be so rude!" Seth came up to Ashley's face and challenged her.
"What if I don't stop huh? What you gonna do about it?" Seth pushed Ashley on the ground and Haley stepped in between them. She knew Ashley would rip him apart, no questions asked.
"Stop it Seth. It doesn't impress everyone you know. Don't be so spiteful." Haley hated talking calmly to the bully who really liked her. Seth came up close to her trying to touch her chest. Haley backed up trying to get away from him.
"Stop it Seth." Haley was astonished when the quiet Josephina came up. Seth pushed her and Josephina tried to push back but she threw her arms in a totally different direction. Seth scoffed and pushed her so that she fell in the dust and he kicked sand in her face. Josephina's twists and turns in the grovel made dust fumes make the children cough and hack. When the bell rang the other children including Seth and Wanda left Ashley, Harriet, Josephina, and Haley in the dusty air.
"Thanks a lot! Now he'll spit in my food!" Harriet yelled at the three other girls. Haley felt her sympathy turn to sheer fury. How could Harriet blame them? Right when she was about to throw back a retort, Ashley got up looking furious.
"Is that the thanks we get for trying to help you? Maybe you do deserve to get pushed and pulled like a rag doll. All I know is, when Seth comes to bully you again, I'm watching!" Harriet grabbed her bag and stomped off to class. Turning to Josephina, Haley sighed. Harriet was never appreciative, but Haley wanted to help, even if she didn't get a thank you. Josephina got up spitting out dirt; cussing under her breath and Haley helped her dirty friend. Josephina pulled away from her, coughing.
"I would have got him if it wasn't for this dust!" she spat. "I can't see a thing!" Josephina scoffed. "Ha! I've never seen a thing before either!" Turning away Josephina stomped off to class mumbling a few words. "See you in class." She had muttered over her shoulder. As she disappeared Haley wondered what she meant by she's never seen a thing before. Haley looked at Ashley with a bewildered gaze.
"Ash, what did she mean by 'I've never seen another thing before either'?" Ashley shrugged.
"Beats me. I'm off to class. I'll tell the teacher we ran into some trouble on the way here and that's the reason we're late." She sighed. Then she snickered. "I can't wait to see Harriet's face as she eats the worms!" She giggled and Haley picked up her backpack, brushing off the last bits of grovel from her shirt.
School wasn't much to worry about except for the call home for being late, and Haley realizing her friend Josephina couldn't hit a single basket nor run to a neon orange pole and come back.
"What's the mater with you?" Blake Johnson had spat at her. "Are you blind?" Josephina had sat out the gym class and Haley worried about her feelings; Haley cared for all of her friends and how they felt. Josephina hadn't at all spoken either. She was completely on lock-down since Blake's yell. Whenever Haley failed talking to her, she went and hit Blake behind the head in frustration. The school bell rang and Haley wanted to talk to Josephina. Ashley was talking to her with a bit of fire in her brown eyes.
"That Blake! Ooh he is so dead tomorrow!" she vowed.
"It's okay Ashley it happens all the time with me. You see, I technically-," Haley's hello had cut Josephina's sentence short.
"Hey Ash! Hey Jose!" Josephina looked baffled.
"Your nickname! I'm sorry about Blake. He's such an idiot some times."
"It's alright Haley. And I know you've been worried about me all day. I thank you but I really don't need to be treated like a baby." She raised her head defiantly. "I can take care of myself." Haley felt a bit hurt. She didn't know her friend would defy caring from them. Then she reflected that some of her former friends didn't like her because she acted like their mom or teacher at times. As they walked down the hall Craig Hull, a real jerk, walked straight into Josephina.
"Watch where you're going!"
"I was!" Josephina spat back at him.
"Then how come you were looking straight ahead at me? You must have seen me!" he flashed back. Josephina flared with annoyance.
"Why do I have to move huh? Can't you move out of the way? Don't you know common curiosity? I know a great place to get started, get out of my way!" Craig moved out of the way casting a glare at Josephina but the strong-headed girl didn't notice. As Josephina was walking, Haley (being the overly observant girl she was), saw that she tripped over things that she could easily walk over. Out of the school the girls headed their separate ways. Haley watched Josephina get into her car. The young girl needed help from her mother to get into a normal standard car. Haley stared stupidly at them. She knew Josephina was very smart, but she seemed draft as a newborn child with walking and precision.
Suddenly it came to her. She recalled everything odd that had involved her clumsy friend today and came to a conclusion.
Josephina was blind!