Her dream woke her from the few hours of sleep she normally got each day before school. Today wasn’t going to be different, in fact, different wasn’t really a word in her vocabulary–it was a constant normal that never introduced anything new in her life.
Her name was Ja’Quiera Williams, a thirteen-year-old 8th grader. Her life was alike everyone else’s in Hamilton Falls; nothing new, nothing old, just the same as everyday. She rubbed her ashy skin–she needed lotion, but she had none in the house. She wondered if there’d be any food in the pantry. There would be, if she was lucky.
First she would wake up at six o’clock every morning to get dressed, avoid her hung-over, single mother and scavenge for a meal before heading off to school. However, today she wasn’t as lucky to make it past her mother. She was about to walk out the door when her backpack was yanked off of her and thrown backwards. She turned to her half-intoxicated mother who’s smile was everything but appealing. “Quiera, give yo mama a hung, baby doll!”
The girl wanted nothing more than to leave her rat-infested house. But, she knew her mother wouldn’t let her until she gave her what she wanted. She lightly embraced her mother, then let go as soon as possible but was held up. Her mother pulled her close to her mouth; she whispered: “It’s time you grow up, doll. Go find yourself’v a bo’bo, ask him if he wants you for a night. Why, I done got started even early than you.” The mixture of her mother’s odor and the terrifying suggestion almost made Ja’Queira fainted at her mother’s suggestion. She didn’t want to be pregnant yet! After all that she’s seen happen to those poor girls when their baby’s daddy leaves them with a child, she could hardly stand there for another minute!
Soon realizing that her mother wouldn’t let her go until she gave the correct answer, she said, “Okay.” But there was no momentum in her words. She grabbed her backpack and darted out the door to catch the bus before it sped off in a frenzy for the next stop.