Other kids don't know how lucky they are, even the unlucky ones. There were kids at her school who she hated more than anything. She wanted those spoiled, undeserving brats to feel the hunger pains of not being fed a hot meal the night before or eating a stale piece of bread for breakfast, ripping the moldy ends off. As Abby watched the other kids play on the blacktop, anger boiled inside and threatened to undo her as watched the other children play, carefree and oblivious to the darkness in the world.
Even Tom Kernick whose dad slapped him around was off running around like a normal 11 year old boy. 'At least he's there. At least he notices you.' Abby thought to herself. She didn't even know where her mom and dad were at the moment.
As she continued to watch the playground she suddenly felt eyes on her and looked over just in time to see Emily Staffield and her clique of 4 other girls talking and pointing at something on the ground in front of her. Looking down Abby was perplexed at what they were talking about. Hearing laughter, she glanced over and saw the group laugh and look down at Emily's brand new heels and then back to Abby's scuffed shoes from last year. Shaking a little, the little girl sitting all alone on the sidewalk pulled out an old, overdue library book from an old purse her mother had let her have. Although it looked like something an old lady would carry around, it was one of Abby's prized possessions. She held the book out at an unnatural height above her to shield herself from them.
Huck Finn. She didn't understand it all but she wished she could be like him. He was a fearless child and although a fictional character, Abby had a crush on the boy sporting the front cover. He had auburn hair and freckles with a devilish smile. He wasn't like the boys at her school. He came from a broken home but he was brave, daring, and adventurous. He wasn't afraid of the world and he didn't seem angry either. Abby felt her eyes water as she took a break from staring at the pages and gazed into the eyes of Huck's picture. She desperately wanted to be like him. Instead all she felt was frustration building on her insides for all the things her and Huck didn't have.
Laughter interrupted her thoughts again and looking up she was startled by what she saw. Emily and her friends were making a beautiful, curly haired little boy wearing pants that were slightly too big on him and a shirt who's tail would never stay tucked in do tricks in exchange for tootsie rolls. He wasn't just any little boy though, he was her little brother. The girls laughed and sneered at Abby and the little boy laughed with them, not quite grasping the situation. He looked up at his sister and waved a fist full of tootsie rolls in hand.
Anger boiled beyond the point of conscious thought and self awareness. The first few seconds she thought about pulling Emily's hair, and then maybe trying to fistfight her, and then blackness took over. All she would later recall is having an out of body experience of watching herself lung at the group of girls, knocking down 2 and landing on top of Emily. Her arms thrashed against Emily's as Emily tried to pull the crazed girl off.
Emily's faced was startled and frozen with fear. She cried out with a wordless yelp. Her words begged and pleaded then were exchanged with malice but Abby anger blocked them out. It took two teachers to pull Abby off and lead her towards the school office. As she left the scene, Abby felt herself return from this dreamlike state of watching the scene unfold to reality. She looked down to see her arms cut up with nail marks but strangely felt nothing. Sneaking a glance back, she saw the nurse running over to a girl still lying on the ground making a scene. Abby's eyes frantically searched but she couldn't find Eric, her little brother who she was trying to protect. She did find several eyes watching her and suddenly sank in at the pit of her stomach what she had just done.
The gravity of the situation set in just as Abby reached the office. She knew what would happen next. She would get yelled at by the principle. She would face a fate worse than death when she would be forced to apologize to Emily. They would call her home and realize no one would be there to answer and her and Eric would be split up and sent away. Abby's heart pounded in her head as she could do nothing but sit and wait.
She thought about running, finding Eric and just running. They could sleep in the tube of the playground equipment like Abby had always planned they would if anyone discovered their secret. It was still warm enough out where they could stay there for a while. It would be just like Huck and Jim. It would be her and her little brother together. They could make it. There was a woods just beyond the park and they could look for berries there. It would probably be more than what they usually ate anyway.
"Abby", a voice interrupted her thoughts.
'Too late!' Abby thought.
She looked up to see not the principle but the school guidance counselor standing in front of her.