I can honestly say that study hall is going to be the death of me. In the beginning of the year, it seemed like a good idea to have some time to do my homework. Well, after month two, I realized that the amount of work I could accomplish wasn't enough to really save me any time at home.

So instead I turned to sleeping. Everyday during last period, I flip my hood up and rest my head against my arms. Study hall isn't exactly ideal for sleeping.

"Mark! Mark! Mark Anthony!" Ms. Thatcher shrieked. I groaned and rolled over the other side hoping to block out her shrill voice.

Laughter erupted around us and Ms. Thatcher began another rant about staying quiet and letting other kids get some work done. Mark Anthony was another reason I never seemed to get anything done in study hall.

Half way through attendance, I gave up on falling asleep. Fridays tend to be one of the loudest days of study hall and today was no exception. No one could focus or possibly sleep in all this noise. The room was so loud that Ms. Thatcher gave up on us and sat down at her desk with her romance novel. I groaned and dropped my head back down on my hands.

Eventually the bell rang and I wait for the mass of people to exit before I made my way to the door. My locker is the third one from the library and not too many people ever hang around there.

32-0-7 and my locker opened with a metallic clink. Carefully, I pulled out everything in my locker and my coat, gloves, and scarf. With all my winter clothes on, I opened one of the side exits and made my way down the sidewalk to the front of the school.

My car is the small, black one parked in the corner and farthest from the entrance. After I had all my bags in the backseat, I turned the heater on and waited for the parking lot to clear a bit more. I was in no rush to wait in the line of anxious drivers wanting to all rush out of the parking lot at the same time. So instead I sat in my car and waited for the air to warm up a little bit. By the time the heat kicked on, the majority of students had made their way out and I joined the shorter line of cars.

Almost immediately after I left the parking lot, I got a call on my cell phone. Groaning, I pulled over into the nearest parking lot and answered it.


"Hi Emma. How was school?"

"It was alright" I said. What do you say about school? It's not good because I have to go. But it could be a lot worse.

"A lot of homework?" she asked. Emily always cares so much.

"Not really, just some reading. I don't think it will take too long." I could feel her smile through the phone.

"Are you ready for the move? Is everything packed?"

I bit my lip. "Um…"

There was silence on the other side of the phone. For a moment I thought that Emily was angry with me.

"You haven't packed yet have you?"

Emily wasn't judgmental. I could clearly hear the laughter hidden in her voice.

So I wasn't afraid to tell her the truth. "Not exactly… I've packed some things."

"Well what are you doing talking to me? Get home! Get packing! There's only…thirty more hours? I'm not sure. I'll do the math later. Right now you need to get home! What time are the movers coming tomorrow?" she asked sounding somewhat frantic.

"I think around eight o'clock?"

"Emma! How much more packing do you need to do?"

I tapped my fingers along the steering wheel and pictured my room at home. Only a few of my things were in boxes and I still had all my clothes in my dresser. "A lot" I said.

"Well get going! Sam's dying to see you again and I am not going to tell him that you won't be here on time because you forgot to pack" she laughed.

"Alright Emily. I'll see you soon"

"Bye sweety!"

With that I tossed my phone back into my purse and pulled out of the parking lot. I lived only a mile away from the school so it took me about five minutes to get home. Yet, when I stepped out of my car, Mom was waiting at the front door.

"Are you ok? It took you a long time to get home." She was worried. I could tell that much. Normally she wouldn't be freaking out so much, but I think the idea of me moving out to La Push had put her on edge.

"Are you ok?" I countered.

"I'm fine." She smiled but I could tell something was bothering her.


"Oh my kids are just growing up so fast!" she gasped. I tossed my backpack onto the ground and wrapped my arms around my mom. "Emily's getting married" she continued. "Takota is going to graduate from college soon. And you! My baby! Oh my baby's growing up! A senior in high school! So much is ahead for you. I just know it"

I didn't want to tell her the truth and break her heart. I'm not going anywhere. I have no boyfriend, never have. I have no money, never have. And there's no way I would ever abandon Mom; I won't leave her alone. As the youngest, I should be the one to stay with her.

Emily already had her life planned out at my age. She knew exactly where she was going to go to college, she knew what her major would be, and best of all, she had Sam.

God what I wouldn't give for someone like Sam, he's absolutely perfect for Emily. They are inseparable. And I could never ask her to keep watch over Mom and give up that.

And Takota. Now he's got something to look forward to. His life is going somewhere. With a major in engineering and second major in Chinese, Takota is going to have a very prosperous future. He's much smarter than I could ever hope to be and for that I could never pull him away from school; that would be a crime against the future. I'm fairly positive he's either going to create a Green planet or cure cancer. Which ever comes first.

So I've decided I'll stay. I promised Emily I'd be her maid of honor so I'll be in La Push until May but as soon as the wedding is over, I'm coming right back to Oregon. I'll keep my job at the pool and take extra shifts. It won't be enough but if I sell the second car then that might help us for a little bit. Maybe I'll get another job. And with Dad's social security, we can at least pay off our crumbling little house.

"My little girl." Mom kissed my head and smiled at me. "God smiled on you".

God's not smiling at me. I'm not even sure he knows I'm down here. I'm screaming and waving my arms, needing a savior, but my voice isn't even breaking through the clouds.