By Liz Diaz-Lopez
“Bye Grandma,” I said as I walked outside to the front porch, on my way to the bus stop. I got off the bus and hid my face, so Mila’s girl group wouldn’t notice me. They had always picked on me for “not being loved” according to them, but I know deep down that they were just jealous of my wealth. I succeeded in going through them without being noticed.
I have been going to Redburn Private School for the last few years and it’s one of the top private schools in Polson City.
“Good Morning Redburn, today let’s have a wonderful day as always, and don’t be late for class,” Principal Tanner’s voice boomed over the speaker. I arrived in class along with the teacher, so my classmates couldn’t pick on me like they always did and I sat down.
“Good morning class,” Mrs. Henry said. “Our class needs a permanent library helper. Are any of you interested in the job? I must let you know if you are lacking in your grades, don’t think about it.”
I, of course, was the only one to raise my hand.
“Look Lily is now a bookworm!” someone in the back of the classroom said.
“Silence!” Mrs. Henny said as she slammed her hand on the table. “You may go to the library,” she said to me. “Thank you for volunteering, Lily.”
After school, I got a call from my mom.
Wait for me I’m going to pick you up.
It was very rare for her to pick me up. I began to wonder why she would want me to ride home with her. All I could think about was that lately my parents had been having some arguments. The arguments had me scared and very stressed out with the idea that one day their love for each other would just end.
I saw my mother’s car and crossed the street with caution. “Hi, mom,” I said as I got into the car.
“Hi, honey,” she said with a smile that did not reach her eyes. I was surprised we did not talk on the drive home.
When we got home I noticed my dad’s car which I hadn’t seen in a week. I got out of the car and ran inside to see my dad sitting at the kitchen table with a big smile on his face. We all sat together at the table in what seemed like a very long time.
“We have something important to tell you,” my father began and there was no happiness in his words.
“We are getting divorced,” my mother said as if she was the happiest person in the world. I was in pure shock.
“How could you do this to me?” I asked with an unsteady voice. “I thought we were a family!” I ran outside to my treehouse and locked the door so no one would get in. An hour later my mother knocked on the door. I opened the door thinking she was going to comfort me, but I was wrong.
“Pack all your things,” she said matter of factly. “We’re leaving first thing tomorrow morning and don’t even argue.” She left me in the tree house.
After a few minutes, I walked into the house and grabbed bags and went into my room. I was surprised at how she reacted to the situation. I packed all my things and went to bed not having the energy to say something to either my mom or dad.
I woke in the morning to birds singing. I wanted to yell at them. What was so great for them to be signing? It wasn’t a regular day. A regular day meant my mom and dad were in love with each other and I would be happy. My parents walked into the room.
“You’re going with your mother for now,” my dad said as if he was going to cry.
“Say bye to your father,” my mom said angrily. “Then hurry up and get in the car.” My mother’s voice was so heartless. She left my dad with me in my room.
“I’ll miss you so much,” I said as I hugged my dad. “Why do I have to leave? Is it because you don’t love me anymore? Or, do you not love my mom anymore?” Tears were streaming down my face. “Just, tell me, why me? Why us?”
“I love you and will miss you, too,” my dad said. “Please don’t make this harder than it already is.” He hugged me back, but began leading me to the door.
“Hurry up,” my mom said waiting near the front door. I followed her to the car while crying until my yes got tired of crying and I fell asleep.
Hours later I opened my eyes to see cars and people walking in the streets.
“You awake?” my mom asked. “We’re in Woodland City.”
I was surprised I had slept for 3 hours. We had arrived at a house that seemed new.
“Your room is down the hall to the left,” my mom said. “You can start unpacking. I’m going to look for a job and the local unemployment office.”
I grabbed bags from the car before my mom drove away. I knew when my mother returned she was going to have a job since she is well known in the medical field. By the time my mom got back I was unpacked.
“I signed you up for school,” my mom said when she entered the house. “You start Monday and you’re going to take the bus because I’m going to be busy with work.”
I went to sleep and Monday came faster than I expected. I got up and got ready for school. There were only five other kids at my bus stop. When the bus pulled up to the front of the school I asked two girls where the office was and then went straight there.
My schedule was printed for me and the school counselor walked me to my first class.
“Mrs. Kard, you have a new student,” the counselor said.
“Please present yourself, ” Mrs. Kard said.
“Hello, I’m Lily Mill and I’m from Polson City,” I said.
“I saw her come from the rich bus!” a boy in class said out loud.
“So she’s a richy,” another student chimed in.
“Quiet down,” Mrs. Kard told the class. Then she looked at me and pointed to an empty seat in class. “Please take a seat.”
I tried to focus in class, but all I could think about was how students were already picking on me for being on the rich bus. After class, I asked Mrs. Kard where the library was. I thanked her and made my way to the library. I noticed a group of girls started following me around while I tried to get to my destination.
After I got to the library I saw a girl who looked very beautiful. She was sitting behind the librarian’s desk.
I approached her and asked, “Do you guys have a library club?”
“Yes, we do,” she answered. “I’m the club president, can I help you?
I want to join the club,” I said.
“We can accept you into the club. You just need to fill out the club application and then you’re in. We have meetings every Wednesday after school for one hour and we donate an hour of our time to help out in the library each day.”
“Okay, can I have a paper to join?” I asked.
“Yeah, sure,” she said as she handed me a paper.
The rest of my day was horrible. I did not meet friends and when I got home my mom was still working. I made us simple sandwiches for dinner, but my mom did not ask about my day at school. I went to bed feeling uneasy about going back to school.
When I got to class the next day the same group of girls who had followed me to the library were standing near my desk. They said they wanted to talk to me after school and asked me to meet them outside the gym. I had no clue why they wanted to talk to me and I didn’t get a chance to ask them. Mrs. Kard walked into the room and told everyone to take their seats.
The rest of my day passed without anything interesting happening. I went to the library again at break and lunch and sat by myself. I was thinking it was going to be a difficult year. I was dealing with my parent’s divorce and starting a new school where making friends seemed impossible.
After school I headed to the bus zone and had forgotten about the girls that wanted me to meet them after school until one pushed me from behind.
“Thought you could escape from us,” one of the girls said. They started to stare me up and down with mean looks on their faces.
“New kids have to deal with us,” another girl said.
Suddenly a girl appeared from nowhere and said, “Is bullying the only thing you girls can do?” The bullies stepped away from me and looked at her. “I feel bad for you,” the girl said to the group of girls. “You’ve wasted 14 years of your life being bullies. ” After she said that the group left with no hesitation.
“Hi,” the girl patted me on my back. “I’m Sarah,” she smiled. “Don’t worry. They won’t bother you anymore,” she said.
“Thank you,” I said. She showed up right on time.
“You’re new here, huh?” she asked. “Are you interested in golf? I know it’s a random question but we’re low on one player. I’m the team captain,” Sarah said.
I had played golf with my dad before. I knew I wouldn’t be good at it, but I figured I could just give it a try. Sarah was the first person to be nice to me and want to include me in something.
“Sure,” I stammered. “I..I can join. I’ve played golf a few times.”
I sent my mom a text asking if I could try out for golf. She replied with a smiley face emoji, which meant she was happy I was trying something new. In her text she told me to get the athletic form from the office so she could fill it out.
That night my mom filled out the paperwork and I packed a bag of practice clothes. I even asked her about the library club and she said it would be great for me to read and donate time to the library.
The next day I turned my athletic form into the office and went to the gym after school.
“Hi,” the coach said as she came up to me. “I’m Coach Jiselle and you are on our team. We are in need of one more player and you are the only interested student.”
I smiled and made my way over to the van that would take us to the golf course. I stepped in the van and saw Sarah there sitting next to Emely.
“Hey Lily, you made it!” said Sarah.
“Hi,” I said.
“Lily this is Emely,” Sarah said as she introduced me to Emely.
“And Emely, this is Lily,” Sarah said.
“We’ve met before,” Emely and I said at the same time and we both giggled.
“Let me guess,” Sarah said, “the library club?”
“Yes,” Emely replied. “But I still need your application,” she said to me.
We headed to practice and both Sarah and Emely helped me learn to play golf.
As the year continued Sarah, Emely, and I became close friends. Soon school was the fun place to be because at home I was always alone. My mom was working late hours in the hospital and she would get home tired. Some nights she would have dinner with me and some nights she wouldn’t. My mom wouldn’t even make it to my golf tournaments and neither would my dad.
I called my dad before the championship game and left him a message asking him to please come to my game. I even left a note on my mom’ s dinner plate asking her to go to my game.
When I got to the golf course I told myself to focus on my swing and not to think about my parents and their divorce.
“Hey kiddo,” I turned to see my mom and dad standing together there at the golf course. “You got this,” my dad said.
I ran to both of them and hugged them tightly.
My coach called me over and said it was game time. Emely and Sarah were doing great. They tied with two other girls, so I needed a better score to give us the lead. A girl from the other school went first and she didn’t hit the golf hard enough. Then when it was my turn. I hit the ball at least 20 more yards than her. She hit her second short and was just short of the green. My second shot was a great one. It was on the green and so close to the hole that I was told to take my next shot and the ball went in. “We did it!” I said while screaming. I was so happy and went with my parents to hug them.
“Congratulations to State Green Middle School,” said the announcer. “First place is Sarah from State Green Middle School, Second is Lily from State Green Middle School, Third is Emely from State Green Middle School, …”
We all were happy with the results and went straight home to celebrate.
“We’re sorry we couldn’t be there for you Lily,” my father said. “I’ll make more of an effort to be in your life.”
“I’m sorry for not always taking care of you or asking you how your day was,” my mom said.
At the end of the day I was the happiest I had ever been. Although my parents were not together they still loved me and I loved them. It felt like a regular day.