Sunday Afternoon This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   The public library is connected to the school. I took a walk up there yesterday. It was a cold Sunday, but very relaxing. I enjoyed the walk. I walked through a trail in the forest and I felt so at peace. It was my world. A familiar world. I decided this is where I would go if I needed to think.

As I came up the sidewalk that led to the library, I looked at my school. It is a school I see five times a week. That I inhabit for five and a half hours a day. But yet as funny as it may seem, I saw it for the first time. All of sudden it was all new. I felt detached. An outcast.

Who am I? Where am I?

Don't be scared, little girl. I will hold your hand.

Don't be scared, little girl. You're not alone.

Things I don't care to remember are easily forgotten. Not gone, but forgotten. They still linger in the back of mind. Steadily haunting me. I push them back and move on but the memory still whispers to me. Quietly, but it's still there.

The school towered over me. Its windows looked back. They looked as if they were trying to see through me. Past the mask that I wear so well. I entered the building. Where knowledge hid between leather bindings. Behind black printed letters. It hid among big letters that spelled colorful words.

I searched for a rare book. Something interesting. Something inspirational. Something that would offer me a new mask.

In my walkman I played "The Roots." The beats boomed in my ear, the lyrics about life touched my reality. I picked a book off the shell I did not bother to read the summary. I surprisingly forgot what I was looking for.

I approached the check-out counter. The woman currently being helped had three children. All but one were screaming at the top of their lungs. The one not screaming was squirting his bottle at the computer keys on the computer. I smiled at one of

the screaming kids, and he screamed louder.

The librarian handed me a receipt. That was something new. I left the library excited to walk along the trail again. I passed a coughing elderly man, who was lighting a cigarette. Two girls stood near the curb laughing at a shared joke. As a car pulled away from the curb, the muffler spat out at the two girls. The girls fanned the air around them. I walked faster.

A leaf fell as I tripped over a fallen tree limb. I stopped suddenly. There was a deer directly in my path. I stared. He stared back. He stared harder. I looked down, he ran. I caught a leaf.

I opened the door to my room. I lit my purple candle. I put on a Billie Holiday record. I lit my strawberry incense. I turned my ceiling light up. I got comfortable, and I opened the first page of my book. The page read:

I dedicate this book to a special girl, who never knew she was unique.

I sipped the hot chocolate my mother brought into my room for me, and I began to read. 1


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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