May 27, 2008
By Rhonda Strozier, Pittsburgh, PA

Kenni awoke in a foreign place, a foreign bed. She looked around and tried to stand up but her legs hurt so badly. The room she was in was so dark; it blinded her for a second. She tried to remember what she was doing before she went to sleep. She had come to this girl’s Shelby’s house for a party, the only party she had been to all year. For once her mother would be home long enough to parent her little sister. She had gotten to the party and all she had was two cups of punch… How could she be so stupid? On every movie when a teenager goes to a house party somebody always spikes the punch. Then what had happened? She had seen a cute boy she knew from school and started to dance with him. They were in a quiet corner where no light could reach when they started making out. Kenni could feel the buzz of the alcohol setting in, making her feel higher than high, so she didn’t move to stop the boy when he pulled her into Shelby’s room. She could remember putting Shelby’s baby picture face down on her nightstand. She couldn’t really remember anything from there but from the pain she felt she could tell that she had just lost her virginity. The boy was gone and she couldn’t even remember his name. Once again she marveled on the fact that she could be so damn stupid.


Kenni stormed into her room and slammed the door; she had just found the note that her mother left on the kitchen counter. It read, as so many before, that Kenni was to go pick up her little sister from school and take the twenty on the stove for dinner. That meant that her mom wouldn’t be home at any suitable hour and that Kenni would be stuck watching Jessie all night. It wasn’t like she had anything better to do, but Kenni cursed her mother for taking away her option of having anything better to do. She still had an hour to kill before she was due to pick up Jessie and had nothing to do. She couldn’t call anybody; she didn’t have anybody that she really talked to. She decided to watch some trash TV, even though she pretended to hate it she really loved it. Turning to Survivor, Kenni quickly dozed off, she was so tired for some reason.

Kenny awoke over an hour later to a knock on her door. She groggily wondered who could possibly be knocking on her door as she stood up. Pulling the door open her eyes met her little sister’s teacher; she was holding Jessie’s hand.

“You forgot me again, Kenni,” Jessie informed her older sister. Kenni smacked her hand to her forehead; how could she have been so stupid as to fall asleep?

“Sorry, Jessie. I fell asleep alright?” Kenni told her.

“Is everything alright, Kenni? Is your mother home? I need to speak with her about Jessie,” Mrs. Anderson asked.

“Of course everything is alright, Mrs. Anderson, why do you ask?” replied Kenni, dancing around Mrs. Anderson’s question about her mother.

“Well, Jessie’s not doing to good in school right now. She’s not turning in any of her homework and she’s really tired when she comes to school.”

“Oh, I didn’t know, Mrs. Anderson. Jessie will be much better when she comes back to school on Monday. All her homework and everything.”

“Are you sure everything’s alright, Kenni?”

“Yes, Mrs. Anderson. I’ll be sure to never forget Jessie again. You have a good day now, bye.” Kenni shut the door in Mrs. Anderson’s face.

“You know, Jessie, I never liked that teacher. She’s so damn nosy.” Jessie giggled at her sister’s curse word. “And now to you, when I forget you what are you supposed to do?” Kenni asked, sitting her sister on the kitchen counter.

“Sorry, Kenni, she wouldn’t let me leave. She told me that I was too young to walk all the way home by myself. I told her that I did it all the time but—” Jessie explained, quick tears coming to her young eyes. The sight of her little sister’s tear quickly melted her heart and she forgot to be mad at Jessie.

“Don’t cry. It’s okay. I’m not mad at you, Jessie. Go put your book bag on our bed and let’s go get some dinner.”

“Can we go to Deb’s?”

“If it’s Deb’s you want, it’s Deb’s you get. I’ve got a whole twenty dollars.”

“A whole twenty dollars?”

“A whole twenty dollars. And you know what that means?”


“That’s right Jessie, that means dessert.”

Jessie quickly ran into the bedroom that she shared with Kenni and threw her book bag in the middle of the bed. Grabbing her jacket and quickly zipping it, she emerged from the room to find Kenni stretched out asleep on the couch.

“Kenni,” she called attempting to wake her sister from her slumber. “Kenni, wake up.”

“What the hell do you want Jessie?” Kenni asked without opening her eyes.

“Kenni, you promised that we could get dessert with our dinner today.”

”I aint promise you s*** Jessie, get out my face! Don’t you see me tryna sleep? Damn! I can’t stand you!” Kenni stood up and pushed her little sister across the room. Jessie banged her head off the wall and Kenni could see a thin trickle of blood going down the wall as Jessie’s eyes closed. Kenni closed her eyes then opened them slowly like she was coming out of a trance, she saw her unconscious little sister on the floor.

“Oh my gawd! What happened to her?” Kenni rushed over to her little sister and tried to revive her. Jessie stirred a little, showing Kenni that she was not dead. “What happen Jessie? Tell me who did this to you?”

“Why did you push me so hard, Kenni? My head hurts really bad now.”

“Seriously, Jessie, who hit your head. And where was I at?”

“Stop playing Kenni, I’m not mad at you for pushing me. My head just hurts a whole lot.”

“I really pushed you Jessie? I’m the one that made you hit your head?”

“Yea Kenni…don’t you remember?”

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