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Grade
7

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Sleep is the best part of the day, you don't have to think or stress, you just breathe, sometimes I wish it could last forever, but then your eyes start to flutter in and out, in and out, and then you're up, even when you want to go back. 

Unfortunately, I haven't been getting much sleep lately. 

I sit up on my uncomfortable bed. 

I stay there for a few minutes, but I know she'll come get me eventually. 

So, I stand up, but only to satisfy her. 

Sticking to my routine I wait for her for a while, but she doesn't come. 

I don't want to be late for school, so I leave the room despite being very worried. 

I open my creaky door and start to walk down the smooth marble stairs, it’s really a workout to walk down all those of those steps but I guess someone has to do it. After about ten long seconds of stepping something draws my attention to my right, out the long window, and I see her and our mom running to our school. 

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But then they're stopped by some older kids. 

I’m really worried for a second, but then I know that I’ve seen this situation before. 

They'll ask her if that’s her house she’ll say “yes” 

They will then ask her if she likes her home and she will say "yes". 

And finally, they'll tell her how lucky she is to be rich and live in such a wonderful big home. 

Which I'm sure it is wonderful and big and everything they say, but I guess I'm just used to it. 

After a lot more walking and stepping I'm finally at the bottom of the stairwell, I grab my backpack and lunch and I'm out the front door. 

 I weigh my options, I could walk as usual but be a tad late, not that anyone would care, I could run to school like her but not be able to enjoy the scenery or take the bus and be right on time. 

Despite how much I love walking, the bus seems like the safer option. This depresses me a bit I really could do without more waiting, Even though my daily routine involves a lot of it I really really hate waiting.  

Luckily I was running late anyway so the bus came sooner than expected. 

I slouch up the steep school bus steps, a bit big for my small feet. My head turns to look up at Mr. Littler, the bus driver, normally I try to make some sort of conversation with him, but It doesn't matter, he won't care enough to respond. 

 

I try to take the seat in the third row on the rare occasions when I have to ride the bus, but it's really full today so I'm forced to sit in the very back. I find myself next to a child in the younger grades, kindergarten, maybe grade one. She doesn't look at me, she doesn't talk to me, she's like all the others. 

But it's still nice to have someone's company. 

 

I surprised myself over how much I loved that bus ride, I always thought of bus rides as a form of transportation I'd only use if I had to. It was nice seeing other kids that weren't her or people in my class.  

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Actually, it's more bittersweet. 

 

The school looks the same as always, one floor made of brick, not the prettiest sight. When I first started coming to school I was paying attention to every little detail, I'd even notice when there was a stain on the floor or a light that wasn't working. 

But now it just blends together. 

I stick myself in the center of all the other kids trying to get in, it's quite hectic, but I kind of like it. 

After I've made my way through the crowd I walk to the locker I've claimed as mine, it's a locker that hasn't been used in a while so it's far away from all the others, I'm never been quite sure how I feel about that. 

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My classroom is room 67, so even though my locker is far away from other kids it's actually right next to the class, I'm usually there before everyone else. 

It gets lonely. 

But, eventually kids start to trickle in and I'm not alone. 

I'm depressed instead. 

It gets confusing sometimes, when I'm alone I desperately want attention, but when I'm with other people they never care enough about me to give me what I want. 

Well, most people. 

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Mr. Shedden comes in soon after his students, he sits at his desk then he calls attendance, he tells everyone to write down their homework or anything else of importance in their agendas. My agenda is old and tattered, I found it on the ground one day and didn't want it to go to waste, so I kept it. I write everything down including the due dates, then I pull out a book before everyone else because I have this simple routine memorized. 

The day seems to repeat this routine over and over and over again, just in different periods. Occasionally it gets dull but other times I kind of like it. I think in general I enjoy going school, I don't legally have to go, but I do, I think that says something. 

Before I know it the loud red bell rings and I'm free to leave. It went by quite fast today, I think that means I had fun or something.  

I glide back down the long familiar hallway out the door and onto the sidewalk, this is the spot where I wait for her and our mother. This time I don't have to take the bus I'm free to look at the scenery. Sometimes I think I make too much of a fuss about walking and enjoying my surroundings. it really isn't that beautiful here except for a few stray trees or flowers.  

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I see her in the distance happily trotting away from our mother and towards me. 

"Hi!" she squeals. 

"Hi, Lynette." I reply.    

We have to walk through quite a few neighborhoods to get to our house, there's the; poor neighborhood, the normal neighborhood, the holiday decorating neighborhood, that one's Lynette's favourite, the really run-down taken over neighborhood, and finally our neighborhood. 

Adults call it the "lucky neighborhood" or the "wealthy neighborhood", kids call it the "houses that give out full sized candy bars on Halloween." 

I guess I just call it mine, or as close as it can be to mine.  

Our mother opens the front door with the key under the Begonias. Not the greatest spot to keep it. 

The door opens as expected and Lynette runs in to greet our father.  

I wait for our father to come to greet me but he doesn't. Ever. I don't know why I even bother. 

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I sigh. 

Lynette returns with a little smile on her face. 

"How was your day today?" I ask. 

Being a small child she ignores my question and goes to play with her toys. 

She comes back and she babbles something to me, kindergarteners aren't the clearest with their grammar, and hands me some sort of stuffed animal, then she takes me to her toy room. 

Lynette's toy room is a familiar sight, the walls are painted lilac as she requested from our parents, I suspect they really love her. 

She looks up at me. 

"Let's pretend that Foc's running away from the bad guys." she commands. 

Foc's a nickname she gave her favourite toy when she was very young. 

I nod my head in agreement, it's not like I had much choice anyway. 

I've heard this storyline before. I've been on a lot of adventures with Foc and "the bad guy" sometimes she'll through in a handful of toys and I'll have to multitask, I don't mind though, this is probably the most fun I'll have. 

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Where are they? 

Eventually our parents come in and tell her it's bedtime, her father picks her up and carries her to her bed. 

But I still have something to ask her. 

"Lynette." 

Her tired face perks up. 

"Why do you care?" 

Her expression changes to something I can't read. 

"Because... you're interesting, you're not like the other ones." she replies. 

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After a night of tossing and turning I'm ready to go to school, however, this time I want to be the one to wake up Lynette, this way I won't miss her again and have to go to school by myself. 

I walk back down the stairs into her room, but, she isn't there. This makes me a tad paranoid but it's not a big deal, she probably just slept with our parents for the night. 

So, I go to our parent's room, no one's there, not her, not our parents no one. 

Except me. 

Now I'm starting to panic. 

I go to the dining room, maybe she's having breakfast?  

Still nothing. 

Perhaps she went to school early? 

I run out the front door remembering my backpack but forgetting my lunch. 

There's no time to enjoy my surroundings. 

I go through the huge school doors, which surprises me, I was half expecting them to be locked. Of course there's no one at school it's much too early. 

I realize I'm overeating I'm sure Lynette is fine, maybe they took her on an early walk or a doctor's appointment or something? I decide to go to my classroom and wait, since I'm there before everyone else anyway no one will suspect I was here an hour early. 

Eventually chattering kids and a tired Mr. Shedden walk into the classroom. Despite me knowing that everything is fine, I can't help but worry. 

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I didn't learn much that day. 

As soon as that bell rings I'm out the doors. I run through every single neighborhood not stopping for anything. 

I rush through the doors forgetting to open them and bonking my head, so I grab the key out of the Begonias and check Lynette's play room, the living room, her fathers "man cave", the kitchen, all of the guest rooms. 

Nothing. 

 

And I know she's gone, I know her parents are gone and I know I can't pretend anymore. 

I'm still a glitch in the system. 

Still an error. 

Still dead. 

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State
Ontario