Hi. You might not know me. Who am I kidding, you don't know me. But I'm just like you in a way. I'm a kid. I'm a teenage girl, and I'm not better nor less than any of you. I love music and food as much as the next...

I live with my father. We live in a little trailer park home with lots of water damage and a hole in the wall in my room that lets in bugs and sometimes animals. But don't get it twisted, that's not the worst part of it. Back onto the subject of my father. He is a man of forty-nine, with marble grey hair and piercing gold colored eyes. He is a respected man at his company where he answers phones. He's in customer service. Its funny, you'd think a guy who spends the day being nice to people and fixing problems would be a good dad. You'd be wrong on that. My father is the most flagicious, abusive, vindictive man on earth. And he thinks i love him...

I don't have a mother...anymore. She died when i was a toddler, so I don't really remember her. She was really pretty though. i have a picture of her when she was still a teen and in my opinion she could have won Miss America, hands down. But shes gone now, i try not to think about what my life would be like with her still around. It just reminds me of how miserable i am now.

I go to a good school, uptown. Uptown, where all the rich kids live. I'm surprised my dad doesn't send me to the school just down the street from out lot. Its a real dump. Our neighbors kids go there. They have a son with autism who comes home with bloddy noses and black eyes from being beat up by the other kids. Maybe thats why i go to a nicer school. Maybe my father has something in his heart that makes him want his only child to have only the best.

He calls me "daddy's little girl". After nights when he comes home drunk... those are the nights i live in fear of. Sometimes he comes homes from a rough day of work. I can smell the booze as soon as he gets in. He always gets a drink or two when hes stressed. So he comes home all toppling over himself. he takes off everything but pants and collapses on the couch. I hold my breath, hoping he would just pass out as he sometimes does. But he doesn't pass out. He calls to me in a drunken voice, hoarse and broken.

"Rachel! Rachel youd better get in here girl! Where you at, you little-"

"I'm right here." I would say, almost crying. I never did though. I had to hold it in with fear.

"Hey darling. You know," he then would grunt and struggle to pull himself up a little. Then he would collapse back down and sigh with content on his position, "You know you look just like your mother. Especially in this lighting." Most times after this he would stick his hand out and grab at me even thought i was at least two times out of his reach. "hmmm... cmere girl." he would pout out. trying harder to grab at me. "I said here goddammit! get over here ya little bitch!"

"Please not tonight daddy." i would whisper, but my words were already in one ear out another.

This is when he gets frustrated and he tries to stand. I want to run but I'm glued to my spot. he stumbles over, then grabs me for support. He strokes my short black hair.

"Darlin your beautiful." he would say and then he would get at me. His words always hit me like an icicle shot from a gun that shutters against me and cut me up all over the place where it hits me.

After the night was over i would lay shivering on the floor, feeling numb, and worthless. Discarded.

Its my life. I didn't pick it.

Then in the morning i would wake up and go to school. Where everyone would smile and talk to their friends. They all hated me. At least i think they did. Even the teachers. I would work diligently anyway, doing my work, staying quiet and out of the way. I was a star pupil as a result. Getting all A's even with the teachers doing whatever they could do make me feel worse than i already was.

But i forgot to mention something! There was one person who was my friend. A teacher who i didn't even have. Mr. Madrin. He was the dean and the remedial English teacher. A weird combo. He was a nice man with two kids and a wife. He had neatly trimmed brown hair and pale skin which went well with his hazel eyes. I don't know what it was about him that admired so much. maybe it was his confidence- something i was born without. He always made me feel better about myself and in the end, i think it was he who helped me get through my rough young life.

Its just another funny thing, your friends allways have good news for you. Well one day Mr. Madrin had good news for me. I got called out of class to see him in his office. All eyes were on me as i slowly walked to the door like it was the gateway to hell. All i could think of was that i was in trouble.

As i stepped into his office he stood up and shook my hand, congratulating me. I thought i was being punked or something. But as Mr. Madrin explained, i began to smile.

"Rachel, you may have heard of the Jump City Academy for the gifted."

I had. It was about an hour south of my house.

Mr. Madrin continued, "The school is for the most prestigious young people in the state. They have a high tuition and only students with relatives in power get in."

I had no idea where he was going.

"However, due to lack of commitment and work from their spoiled students, their ranking is going down. Their graduation rate alone has dropped to a drastic fifty percent this year alone. So they they started a program to bring in students that were promising and hard-working, the honest to goodness type. And Rachel, their considering you."

My heart almost stopped. This was what i needed. I could go somewhere where i could have a chance at making it bigger than life.

"They sent an application for you. And money doesn't even need to be a problem, you get a full scholarship if you get accepted." he closed his mouth and smiled with a wild exitement, "What are you thinking?"

" I think..." i started slowely. but what was there to think? This was what i wanted, but the thought of my dad made me stop. "I don't think my father would want to. He wouldn't take me there every day. He certainly wont move to jump city." i looked down at my shoes. they were old. They had belonged to my mother. I'm sure she would have wanted me go.

"Hey!" he said with a snap of his fingers, "Its a boarding school, you know. Your father could stay here because you'll be at school 24/7."

This was all i needed to hear before i could say yes. Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. I was going to be free!

"You'll just need to get his permission. In Writing. Or have him meet with me." He said.

Oh no. another road block. My father wouldn't consent to that.

Mr. Madrin went on rambling while i thought of ways t get passed my dad.

"-But you'd better fill this out. All this time we're talking about it, you don't even know if you're in yet!" he was hysterical. I could tell this was something he wanted. He wanted some opportunity to get him out of his life.

My shaking hands grasped the application papers all the way home. Dad wasn't back from work yet. I sat down a stared at the first page. Name... that was an easy one. It was all simple. Name, address, phone number, then after all that have a guardian initial at the bottom. I gulped. It was four-thirty. He wouldn't be home for another half hour. Maybe later if he went out for drinks.

Time passed quickly and i stayed at the table. Five-thirty came and went. Eight P.M. Eight forty-four...

Then i heard the door slam outside. I heard the gravel being kicked aside lazily. He had gotten a drink.

He did his usual almost pass out on the couch. The he coughed and wheezed a bit.

"Rachel!" he screamed with a raspy voice.

"Daddy," I said timidly.

"Yeah?" He said with little devotion.

"Will you sign this?" My body turned to stone, and once i held out the paper i was stuck. No turning back now. He grabbed it, squinting to read it.

"Wha's it say?" he asked thrusting up in my face. I held it, but i stood silently, "Well?" my father asked impatiently, "Read it girl! C'mon! spit it out!"

"Its an application for me to go to a new school."

"Gimme a pen."

For once, i was glad he came home drunk.

I was free.

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