My name is Emily Fander, I am 12 years old, and have been living on the street with my sister Karen since my parents abandoned us two years ago. When I was in school, until 4th grade, I was the smartest in the class. I was educated, I was excited to learn, but then my whole life flipped. I lost my education, my parents, and my friends. My friends were too young to understand what had happened, most of them were confused about the situation. I sat here replaying my life story. I knew I could change my life again, but I just didn’t know how. Life like the breeze whipped me, tossed me around, and I had no control. I was eager to learn again, make a little money, get off the streets, but I knew this will take a great deal of effort. I extended my legs, leaned forward and heaved myself upward knowing my path of education will be much more work and very tough. I walked myself to the nearest gas station to wash up before I go to JMPS, Jetson Mander Public School. I entered the station bathroom and cleansed myself with cold water, watching the brown dirty water slip off my face down the drain. To save a little money, I wash an outfit for the day in that same bathroom sink, watching that same brown residue trickle down the drain. I squeezed as much water as I could out of my clothes and walked over to the nearest Laundromat. I emptied my pockets, and found I had one dollar, so I entered and dried my clothes for fifty cents. I retrieved my clean and now dry clothes and ran back to the bathroom to change into them. As soon as I put them on, I could feel the warmth of the fabric against my skin. I left, feeling cozy and nice, but nervous about my next destination. I inch forward slower and slower by each step, my steps are weighed down by worry. Worry that the school will ask me for proof of my address. Worry that I wont have the right answers to the questions kids will ask me. I keep walking with all the worries still flashing through my mind as I reach JMPS. I reach the stairs and enter, trying to look as calm as possible. I approach the secretary in the office with frizzed jet-black hair, a slouched posture, and a crooked smile. “Hello, I would like to enroll in this school” I said as boldly as possible. She looked at me with a grin and replied, “Do you have a gas bill or some other proof of your address?” I thought to myself of course I don’t have a gas bill, I’m homeless. But instead I said, “Oh, my mom is working today and forgot to give it to me, can I start today, and bring it tomorrow?” She looked at me kindly and said, “ I’m sorry honey, your going to have to come back tomorrow with your mother and the bill.” I smiled and replied, “okay see you tomorrow” knowing, that I had neither a bill nor a mother to bring back tomorrow.
March 27, 2012