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Rain drops are slamming the train windows, hard enough it might be hail. I wouldn't know, the window's not open. So why was I on a train to New York?
Maybe it was the fact that my sister was born. Yeah, I think I can blame her, because it is her special school, after all. On second thought, it was her friend who told her about the art class in kindergarten. And special education. I don't think any of us remember her fondly, nevertheless.
Maybe it was my dad's new job. He gets jobs everywhere, moving around a lot. Typically he gets the easy way out, and lives in a motel for, say, half a year. It's a quick drive back to us, so he would visit every Friday night, and we'd get chinese takeout from the place down the street. This job? A little bit of a stretch from Lakeview, California-talk about a trip. This one was more "permanent"-let's just say it's more than 12 months. And because of the move, my sister got her fancy school- oh, joy.
Or, most likely, the world hated me. Like Tara. She's a writer for the newspaper, which is only popular because she is. She decided to "nicely" interview me.
TARA. So, Alli, what do you like most about Williams High School?
ME. The morning muffins…
TARA. Yeah, me too! If you had to leave here, what would you miss about it?
ME. I am moving. And I'm going to miss my friends.
TARA. Oh, that's too bad! One last thing- what's your favorite sport here?
ME. Um, cheerleading?
TARA. That's great! I'm the captain!
ME. Yeah, I know.
TARA. Cool! See ya, Alli!
Seriously? I'm moving, and here's Tara DiCamillo asking me what I like about WHS.
As for cheerleading, I have no idea. I'm not what you call "sporty." I'm an artist, and I like that too much to give it up for cheer. That's how Q got the idea for being a professional artist. Oh yeah, Q's my little sister. Her name is Hailey, but she prefers Q, as in question. Always questioning, that's the truth about her. Q thinks she's "deep". I call it nosy.
Irrealistic, huh? Well, I'd gladly trade lives with any of you "normal" people. No, really. I'm on a train to New York. I'm not exactly "super-psyched" (in the words of Hailey).
Huh. A girl who's really emotionally deep and artsy still says "super-psyched" like a peppy, cheery girl. Did I ever mention she goes through phases? Last year, she was cheer captain of the Lakeview Middle School squad, had a phone that buzzed every minute, and almost no time for herself. When Ellen broke her foot in a stunt, guess who made it on? Her very best friend Whitney. I remember hearing her say "Well, at least I'll TRY to try out, right?" and laughter. Typical popular girl stuff. I could care less.
The year before, she was all out strange. She cartwheeled in circles around the yard, climbed poles, screamed for no reason. She was unbound. I call it "scary". Or unpredictable. Out of all her phases, only once has she been Hailey. That was in 1st grade. Before she met Farren, and learned about playing pretend.
The rain slams down, continuously. Lakeview was in the Land of the Sun. I checked the map. Pennsylvania, now known as "Pouring Rain State." "Allison?" It's my mother.
"Yeah?" I turn around and she's looking at me with an odd look on her face.
"We're getting off soon." She replaces her solemn look with a smile. "We'll be driving the car to the apartment building." I recalled last night's run through before we left. To save money, dad had driven his car the day before to drive us the rest of the way.
"Okay." I go back to rain watching. She places her hand on my shoulder.
"Look, I'm really sorry Allison, and I'm sure your father is too-"
I roll my eyes. "Yeah, okay. Fine."
She seems concerned. "You'll be going to a Connecticut boarding school, you know."
"Yeah, I know."
"Allison, you won't see us until Thanksgiving."
"I know Mom."
"You'll be alright?"
"Yeah, sure." I look at her with a bored expression. "Look, I get it. No one actually cares what I think, and Dad's job lands Q with the perfect school and I get no say. We've been over this. I can't be expected to care more than zip about the whole thing if I want my feelings spared. Otherwise I'd be screaming and crying. And I'd have glued myself to my room."
But I didn't say half of what I would've of (i.e., the above paragraph). What I said was "Yes, I'm fine. I'll, um, miss you meanwhile."
I'd say what I wanted to, but I know I'd still be on this train, speeding away to New York. Because nobody would turn around just for me. And how would you? It goes one direction alone, and it's constant, unchangeable. Just like the move.