By: Joe-Hanna Row-mow
Chapter 1: Chorus Time
I remember it now; it always feels like a dream. I usually remember it when I make soup or spaghetti, especially chocolate milk. And also when I’m alone around a fire. Anyway, it was a dangerous time. Yet, it feels like it happened only yesterday…….
My friends, Gloria Haden, Trinity Lopez, and Liz Beckmann, plus some others from the 9th grade chorus class were at the biggest stadium in Los Angeles to perform from Mr. Garcia, our music teacher. I also noticed that Natalie Laurent, my younger sister, was here, but with her music teacher, Mr. Hu. I remember the good times Mr. Hu and I had in the 7th grade….but they had to go first than my class did. I was frustrated when I found out that they had to leave when we had to sing, but little did I know that I would be very grateful that they weren’t here.
I was talking, meanwhile, to my rich, funny, and a little vain, pretty, and best friend Selinda, who was dress in a blue tank top, purple skirt, and expensive heels, when our class was announced. We sang “Hush my babe”, “My Favorite Things”, and my favorite, “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot”. It was also Robert Montano’s favorite, my boyfriend. He was also in chorus class with my besides being in my other classes like English, Math, World Historical Happenings, and Gym in our 8-period schedule. He was a fun, cool, cute, and respectable man, with brown hair, brown eyes, and light-brown skin, and he was a bit shorter than me. We looked at each other while singing, “Look over Jordan” and blushed. We loved going on dates and hugged each other a lot, but we never kissed (we’re only 15!). I wasn’t ready yet, and he respected that. But, mischievous as he was, he would steal a kiss on the cheek sometimes.
After our turn, it was a comedian’s turn; he looked a lot like Eugenio Derbez, a Mexican comedian, but I wasn’t so sure. I did know that a blonde, little scrawny boy that went to my school named Andrew always followed him around, claiming to be an apprentice of him. He kept to himself most of the time and I wondered why…..but, TOO LATE! I was to help the comedian pass out candies, and while I grumbled why Andrew couldn’t help him, I noticed I ran short. There was like 800 people and had only 150 candies. The comedian had already left, with Andrew as well, and I was stuck with 650 angry people. I was trying to find other candies that could help me when suddenly I hear “A FIRE!!!!”
Chapter 2: Fire
Everyone went berserk when they heard this. It was true; a fire had started, and was growing quickly. I’ve been to a camp before, which simulated all types of dangerous happenings, like a plane going to crash, a fire in a building, tornadoes, earthquakes, etc. well, since I didn’t panic, I calmly said, loud and clear, “Everyone get out through the two exits on the left and right of the stadium.” My friends, meanwhile, were also trying to lead people quickly. Then Robert came to check if I was alright. He had a really stressed and worried expression on his face that I didn’t know why he wore until he found that I was okay. I realized he was worried if I was hurt and I hugged him, saying, “Oh, Robert, thanks for worrying about me, but we have to get these people out.” “Ok, I’ll help,” he replied, blushing a little about my remark. After most people got out, we went outside to see if a fire truck had appeared. No fire truck was there. I was confused and mad at how some stupid people don’t help unless there’s money, something I learned from my very smart political dad, who’s a politic biggrin ! He also helped in a club called, “Club Poncitlense” which helped sick kids all around the world with Mexican doctors from Poncitlán.
I looked around to see if one had appeared when I saw the stairs to the parking lot. It had caught fire and people were using it. It was made of metal and Selinda was at the top. I yelled to everyone using the stairs to get off and they did----except Selinda. She didn’t hear me and fell off. She got back up and ran to me, crying and saying she doesn’t know what to do. Then her hair caught fire and she ran around screaming. I grabbed a shirt that was nearby and started to extinguish the fire. When I did, she blamed me for causing the fire on her, and I yelled back, “No, I didn’t! If you heard me saying everyone get off the stairs, your hair wouldn’t have been black!” That did it, and she walked off in search of her limo ride.
Everyone was safe when I felt a bang on my head, and I felt unconscious. When I woke up, I was in a bed at the hospital. After I moaned so loud because of a headache and also I couldn’t see much, I saw Mom, Dad, and for some reason, Robert, although I knew he must have saw who had hit me then came to see if I was alright. “Oh, honey, are you ok”, my mom said. “The doctors said she would be alright after a few days,” my dad told her. “Yea, I’m fine,” I replied, “but I don’t know how had hit me on the head.” “Actually, I would like to explain about that,” said Robert, and asked for some alone time with me. When my parents left the room, he began with this, but it came out fast, I was trying to figure out his words and put them together, “I’m so sorry; I didn’t mean to hit you on the head. I thought you were a man trying to hurt yourself because I thought Selinda was you since her hair was black…and….” And it clicked. I noticed he stopped and stared at me. I wondered why until I realized it was because I had an angry face mixed with confusion. Then I yelled out loud why he had banged on my head instead of trying to find out who I really was. Then I told him to leave the room and it was over between us. He did so with a sad face (and a heavy heart; you could tell) and ran out. I bet my parents heard too when they said that yelling it out loud wasn’t a good choice. 1 year later passed…..
Chapter 3: Robert
I was in the 10th grade now, and the fire accident has changed so many things between two important people: #1 Selinda. She has hated me ever since her hair was burned, but grew back, and still believes I caused it. Now she has 3 new “better” friends, as she calls it. They are Veronica Butonia, Krista Cervantes, and Myrtle Beatrice. In high school, they all had double lockers with nothing but clothes, jewelry, and girly stuff things. Ugh, how I hated it when you had to have a pass to actually pass by their lockers. And to make it even worse, they had the girls’ locker room to themselves, used as a sauna, store, and exclusive showers. So what about the other girls in school? We had another girls’ locker room, but this time, it was kept in a bad condition, due to the fact that the school had to keep up with the rich girls’ locker room’s expenses. I love to find out things, and I found out that before all of this happened, my other friends didn’t like Selinda in the first place, probably because she was so snobby. They always wondered how I had befriended her. Truth is, I don’t really know. Well, after W.H.H. (World Historical Happenings) class, it was lunch, and Gloria, Trinity, Liz, and I were headed together to the cafeteria when I saw Robert, and that brings me to #2: Robert.
I loved staring at him, especially at soccer practice, when he couldn’t see me, but this time he did. He met my eyes and left to another part. My girlfriends saw that, too, and began to consult me, which irritated me a lot! “What is it with you,” Gloria said. (She was the lecturer), “I think she needs to get away for a while,” said Trinity (she was the offerer, meaning she liked to offer ideas) “Oh, you’ll get over it, JoJo,” said Liz, using my least favorite nickname; it was Joey, not JoJo (she was the comforter), “if he hadn’t banged you on the head, you wouldn’t have yelled at him.” Yes, they knew of my problem, but I couldn’t help it. I tried once to forgive him, but his face, especially his eyes, had a cold stare, the one that made stone softer than it. And I couldn’t do it any more, and decided to give up.
Chapter 4: Mean Girls
Since Selinda loved to make fun of me, like saying, for example: “Get out of my way, crap” (I was brown almost all over) and, “Oh go away, Johanna. Didn’t you take a shower? You stink like a Mexican.” (I am a Per-Mex American: Peruvian-Mexican) but she had no right to say that. So, I played practical jokes on her, coming from my very trusty guy, Skater Joe. He was a good friend who always had a joke book, comic book, or prank book in his hand. Plus, he’s a skater, which made him instantly cute. But nothing goes on between us. Anyway, we’ve made lots of cool things to Selinda and her army, one which almost got us in problems with the Prince (principal). I remember one time we planned to hide in the rich girls’ locker room at lunch time 2 minutes before they came (they always came to eat in their locker room 2 minutes after the lunch bell.) We would wait until the right time, which was when they were serving spaghetti and chocolate milk, Selinda’s favorite. As we heard the door creak open, I jumped onto Joe’s back as he skated on his skateboard toward the exit. They were surprised and on the way, I managed to pick up Selinda’s tray so that the spaghetti fell on her shirt along with the chocolate milk. She screamed and made a wild grab at us. But fortunately, we were already out in the hall, skating down to the girls’ and boys’ locker rooms to change quickly into other clothes. You see, the plan was if that we skated quickly out of the rich girls’ locker room and out of the hallway, no one would see us. And it went perfectly. So when we changed, no one recognized us. We came out of the lockers with big happy grins as walked down. No one had seen what happened and asked if we had seen the two kids in there. We replied no, and casually walked down together. It was so funny to see Selinda walk through the halls with her face as red as a tomato. And no wonder! Her mascara was drooping, her pink sleeveless shirt was with a red and brown stain all over and to top it off, her hair was like a JUNGLE! Everyone laughed out loud as she walked to the Prince’s office. I kinda felt bad about what we did, until I said to Joe, “She deserved it, anyway.” “Yep,” he replied, “she sure did.”
Chapter 5: The Stadium
I loved to go to the stadium that once thrived with all sorts of songs, plays, operas, and things like that, before the fire. Now it’s all scorched from the fire and the red leather seats are now brown and black. But despite all of the destruction, I still went there. There was a screen that had a cartoon-ish person answer any question in the world. The last time I went, it went something like this:
I went inside and sat on one of the seats that weren’t burned. I had five questions to ask, mainly about me and Robert. My first 3 were about Natalie, Selinda, and my parents. The 4th was about school and tests and pop quizzes. But then my last one was about me and Robert. I asked, “Will Robert ever be with me?” And as soon as I asked it, I heard something in the back that might have caused the screen to turn off. I went through the back and saw a man or boy in the back. I tried to look in the back again, but then I fell through the burned hole on the center. THUD! Oww! Damn, I thought, how the hell do I get out now? I tried feeling my way out of it, because I knew there was an exit out here, but instead of feeling a wall, I felt……a face? In the dim light, I saw….. “Andrew! What are you doing here?!” “Uh, WH-what are you do-doing here,” he replied, obviously guilty, but guilty of what? “I came to ask questions, but what does it matter to you?” “I….heard you ask if …Robert will ever get back with you…again.” he said. “And I ask again, what does it matter to you?”, I replied acidly. “I just wanted you to know that…if he doesn’t want to get back with you…..” and he trailed off, looking at me as he spoke. Dude, he’s not even cute at all! So to reply politely as I can, I said, “No, Andrew! Hells no I would get with you. Uh-uh. Para nada.” (Ok, maybe it wasn’t so polite, but at least it was a little bit.) “You’ll regret this, Johanna, because I gave you the opportunity to be with me!” he yelled out. “And you think this is gonna affect me severely, huh?” I smirked. “Oh my god, I can’t get with Andrew! It’s all my fault, ooh, I’m so scared!” I cried out, making fun of him. He’s always so revengeful, and no one picks on him, at all. And I left him alone when I finally saw the exit door, hearing him yell out, “Like I said, you’ll regret this Johanna!” “Sure, sure, you just keep telling yourself that, and maybe, it’ll come true” I replied. In your dreams, I thought smugly as I left.
Chapter 6: Heath
As I left the stadium, I wanted to get home by walking, but it was too dark, so I waited for the bus. That was stupid, I noticed, because the bus didn’t come by at 8 P.M. in this area. A car was coming down the street, and for some mental reason, I tried to figure out who was the driver while trying to figure out how to get home. To tell the truth, I would’ve asked any car coming down the street to take me to my house, so I decided this car should do. I made a thumbs-up sign in the air, waving it up and down, when the car pulled over. I asked, without even bothering to see who was the driver if I could get a ride home, with directions. He (I could tell it was guy, probably from school?) said yes, and opened the door. When I got inside, we started talking, just to kill time. His name was Heath and he did go to the school. He was cute, with dimples, short cropped black hair and a strong body, and seemed to respect girls. How would I know? Let’s just say my dad is an encyclopedia. “Thanks for driving me home, Heath”, I said shyly, when I got to my house. What was making me act this way? “Don’t worry about, Joey” (yeah, told him my nickname. What’s so wrong about that?), “well, see you around.” And he sped down the street. Surprisingly, I sighed as I looked out to the street where he left. Whoa, I thought, and I shook my head, I must be coming down with something. Why would I sigh? Ugh, I need sleep probably, this gets harder now. First I fall through a hole, there’s an ugly stalker there who likes me, and now a cute guy out of nowhere like an angel- wait,-what am I thinking? And I fell asleep, dreaming of Heath. He seemed to help me get over Robert, but sometimes, not completely. I saw him at school and we hung out a lot. People began to say that we were actually together. And it turns out he was really popular. When we walked together, I can swear I hear my friends talk envy of me and him, and I can also hear Selinda hating on me. While we walked around, I heard Selinda has tried many times to get Heath’s attention, but failed. I felt really lucky. “So what do you want to do right now,” he asked. “Not sure, but I like to walk around the soccer field. Wanna come?” I said. “Sure”, he replied, and he smiled. I loved his smile, because the left corner went a little higher than the other and he had dazzling teeth, like mine! It reminded me of someone, but it hurt to think about him. As we walked around the field, I saw Robert look our way, and I saw that same broken heart look on his face, when I told him it was over between us.
Chapter 7: Prisoner
At lunch time, I walked around with my best of all friends, Katherine Maldonado. She was always there to consult me, help me, and surprisingly, she makes me a lot of gifts. A lot of times, she needs me because of her family problems: Dad’s a loving father but serial robber and mom’s a drunk. (She has to live with her mom and at night, but her dad steals food for her because her mom was mean.) The only gift I could give her was my loyalty, love, and friendship. Well, as I said, we walked around the school at lunch, and she told me of her daily troubles. “I wish Dad could get me out of the hellhole.” “What do you mean?” I said, worried. “I mean,” she said slowly, emphasizing each word, “that my mom keeps me prisoner in my own home. I feel like I’m in a jail cell. Her new boyfriend installed steel bars on every window so I wouldn’t get out. And guess what my meal is every stinking afternoon before my dad sneaks me good food: rice and undercooked beans!”. “Wow, that sounds pretty bad…….” I replied. This couldn’t be happening to her. I can see why her dad left..... There has to be something I can do…, I thought. Then I had a great idea. She loved to do comics and there was a contest for comics. The prize was 500 dollars. “Hey, you know what you should do?” I said. “What,” she replied; she must have been planning an escape plan. “You should enter the comic contest! The prize is $500! But if you were to win the money, leave the school and go to your father instead of going home. I just know that your mom will use the money for herself!” I exclaimed, but faltering at the end. “WHAT?! ARE YOU CRAZY?! THAT’S…….. not a bad idea after all. I guess it could work.” She said. She lightened up so much that she could’ve powered many light bulbs at once. “I’ll help your escape, but when your dad gives you food, tell him about it quick in case your mom is still awake, ok,” I told her. “Really? You would help me? That’s so nice……no one would go that far for me, even in this situation,” she replied, big fat tears drooping and cascading down her cheek. “Of course I will, Katherine. Come here,” I said, giving her a hug. Just imagine being in this situation, and the danger you’re in because you want to be free, not a prisoner. “But we’ll need help,” I said. “Like what,” she replied. “Come on, let’s start right now.”
Chapter 8: Her Sweet Escape
Well, that went bad……………NOT! Katherine won the contest and of course, the money prize. She won by a landslide, and we started the plan the day after. The plan was to go to her house and pack all her clothes in her school backpack, so her mom won’t notice what we were going to do. Then when her mom was asleep, which was usually when her dad cam around, she would explain to her dad that Heath tomorrow was going to drive me and Katherine to her dad’s place. When we got there, Katherine will finally live with her dad. At night, here dad came to slip in some food again, but Katherine quickly told her the plan.
Yea that's all I wrote so far, sorry. PM me if you want more. oh-oh-oh! you can also PM me to tell me what you want to happen in the story, ok? thanks!