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Naturally he did feel very tired in the morning. His mother had to shake him awake three times. He eventually got up though.
He never ate breakfast in the morning. He just couldn't find the time to make anything. When he did get up he would slip into the shower and then fall back asleep on the couch. He had an alarm clock next to his face though, so he wouldn't be late for school.
His mother left the apartment to go to work and left Mark and his sister Emily behind. He'd drop her off at his uncles house at 7:30am and make it to school before 8:05.
It was snowing outside but it was a more wet snow then a flaky snow. Sometimes it would come down like hail and sting his cheeks. But he didn't let it bother him. He brought his CD player with him and he carried in his right hand. His little sister was straggling behind.
'Hurry up', he said to her kind of harshly.
Emily didn't say anything and continued to straggle behind.
Mark lurched backwards and nearly dropped his CD player. He grabbed her by the shoulder and tugged her forward. She didn't say anything, she just sort of stared towards the ground. He couldn't tell if she was trying to block out the stinging snow or if she was sad about something. He hated it when she was sad about something. It was usually about him.
They both walked on for a few more minutes until Mark realized that she had stopped and was standing silently in the middle of the sidewalk. He walked over to her slowly and tried to spot a tear or two.
'What's the matter?’ Did you get hit in the eye?', he asked her.
'No', she said with a whimper.
'Then what's the matter, he asked her again.
'Mom's going to send you away again isn't she?', she asked.
'Where did you get that idea?'
'It's happened every year‘.’ You’ll come back a little more different and soon you won't even talk to me anymore‘.’ You hardly talk to me now anyways'.
Mark paused a moment and then rubbed his chin. He hit the pause button on his CD player and stuffed it into his pocket.
She squatted down waiting for a response from him.
'It's not that I don't like you or something'. You're my favorite out of everyone in this family. It's just that I'm afraid you won't like the new me that comes back at the end of every summer. I just figured you'd hate me. You're a little different too ye know?
'What do you mean?', she asked him with a perk.
'I mean your growing up', he said with a smile.
She continued to look kind of sad but he knew she was faking it now. He looked at her and then tapped her on the nose. She flinched and jumped at his neck and gave him a big hug.
'All right, all right', he said.' I'll be late for school'.
She let go of him and grabbed hold of his hand and held it all the way.
Mark pulled his CD player out of his pocket and hit the play button again. He seamed to let go more when he listened to music. He forgot he was going to school and he forgot that he might be sent away for the summer and his sister will never talk to him again. But the one thing that couldn't leave his head was the fact that Tom came close to hurting him good the other day.
He walked down the somewhat slippery sidewalk and slowly made out the shape of his school in the distance. He went back to shielding his eyes by staring at the ground. He slipped his left hand into his pocket because it was getting a little cold.
He walked onwards along the sidewalks. He passed a small school. The kids there didn't have to go to school until 9:05 in the morning. But he didn't mind. It was same for him when he was in Public School. It was just thier turn for an earlier morning.
When he arrived at the school he began to get a dry throat. He dropped his bag off at his locker before getting his binders and things and then went into the bathroom. He splashed water on his face and let it slid off into the sink in front of the mirror. He looked up and stared at himself in the mirror. The water trickled down his shirt and onto his chest. There was a chilly winter air coming through an open window at the far side of the bathroom. But it didn't seem to bother him. A few pieces of paper slid from his binder and glided into one of the bathroom stalls. He turned around and reached for it. He heard the bathroom door open and he stopped and looked at the entrance. John walked in and positioned himself at the sink. He never noticed Mark standing in the stall. Despite the fact he was to afraid to even move, Marks heart was beating a mile and minute. John rubbed a bit of blue pen ink form his fingers and left the washroom. mark sat down in the bathroom stall and rubbed his face that was now becoming cold from the air. He looked down at the piece of paper and picked it up. He slid it into his binder and then got up from the toilet seat. "Why am I so afraid of John?" he asked himself. "That guy's just a stupid loser".
He walked out of the bathroom and headed to his classroom before peeking around every corner. He sat in his seat in the far end of the classroom and started to rub his eyebrow. He opened his notebooks and set his pens down on the paper. His teacher started to dictate something but he didn't notice and ended up starting to write the note down around the middle of the dictation. For the rest of the class he didn't do anything. He tried to make it look like he was working so she wouldn't question him and mention his name out load in class.
Mark was hurled to the floor. Everyone on either side of him was huddling under their desks. There was a load crack and a bang. A few windows shattered in the classroom and they were all told to hide. The explosion had come from across the street. Mark peeked his head up to the window and looked through. The coffee shop had been demolished and the road was full of debris and bits of brick and steel. Newspapers were scattered and ripped apart and the roof of the building had caved in on the rest of the store. There were a hoard of soldiers approaching the store to investigate. Mark knew already that it was a resistance bombing. He just never thought he'd ever be that close to one.
He saw them drag the shop owner and a few other people out of the store and set them on the sidewalk outside. There was thick smoke billowing out of the building and it was beginning to get inside the school. He felt something sharp poking his palm on the ground. It was a small screw. There were other screws all over the classroom floor. He checked his arms for any injuries. He suddenly became aware that a girl beside him had been hurt and was holding her hand. A small screw had flown straight through her palm. She whimpered in pain and held it tightly. There came a sudden echo of fire alarms and the teacher instructed the whole class to go into the hallway and duck down against the wall.
He never made it back to his apartment until 6:00 at night. His mother had picked him up with his sister. He had a big talk with his mother and she told him how much she loved him. He listened to her talking, taking in word after word. He felt her love but he didn't understand why they have to say that kind of stuff to children. He kept wondering what his little sister was thinking in the backseat listening to her mother talking about what she'd do if she lost her children. It was very depressing. He finally just turned and looked out the window at the snow that started to fall everywhere.
When they got home he threw himself on the couch and turned to look out the window. His mother started to make chicken noodle soup and she asked him if he wanted to put an ice cube in it to cool it down. But he didn't even feel like having soup. She went into her room to lie down and Mark stayed on the couch and fell asleep.