• Alyson walked into the classroom that would soon become hers, to meet her new peers. Almost everyone sat in one or two groups. The same thing that she'd seen before. Popular people with silky hair that seemed to jump when they walked or stood up. The ones with perfect hair and eyes, that listened to the right music and had the right clothing.
    And then the people that followed them around, pretty girls, younger though. Then the nerds. Book worms, math wizzez and spelling bee winners. One person sat alone. She had knotted brown hair that looked dirty. Her outfit was faded but clean-looking. She was sitting alone at the edge of the room.
    Alyson greeted the others as she walked past them. She went and sat down to the girl.
    "Hi!" Alyson was very bubbly and expected her to be happy too.
    "Hello." silence.
    "Umm, Hi, I'm Alyson, but you can call me Aly, whats yours?"
    "Jane." She'd never looked up, but her skin was pale and she had brusies. She looked familiar.
    "Hey, I know you." Aly said, remembering. "You live next door don't you?"
    "Um-hm." She looked up to expose a goose egg on her head, but other then that and her pale skin she was very pretty. Abuse maybe. I'll keep a close eye on this one Aly thought.
    "Maybe we could study together one day, okay?"
    "Um, yeah, sure I guess." She was surprised.
    "Well, I gotta get to my seat, see you."
    "Kay." The day passed in a daze. When she got home she passed Jane's house and smiled when she saw Jane, then paused. Looked back once, twice, and a third time. There was a sillioute of a woman, and Jane, she looked scared. The woman moved to reveal a tall lean woman with a beer in hand. Her back covered the window, but she knew what was happening. She ran into her house, crying and called her dad, a police officer.
    "Hello?" Her dad answered.
    "Daddy? I ne-need t-to te-ell you some-th-thing!" Aly cried into the phone
    She told her dad everything she saw and after that, the line was silent.
    "Well, Aly, I can't do anything about it until accual evedenice is uncovered. But don't go snooping around, you don't know what really is going on."
    Alyson was silent now. She didn't want to tell herself that she should ignore whats going on because its not her place to say anthing about it.
    But it was Jane's.
    She could tell her father what was really going on and then she would be okay! Alyson ran outside. She ran up to the door, and to no one's surprise but her own, Jane's mother answered. She was blonde, with a cigarette and beer in hand. Her clothes were scummy and faded.
    "What do you want?" SHe had a raspy voice, considering her slender body. She looked like she could use a lotta rest.
    "Uhh, hi, uh, is Jane there...?"
    "Who wants to know?"
    "Screw you." she said and slammed the door in my face.
    "Well," I said out loud, and turned to leave when I heard the sound of the door re-opening.
    "Alyson?!" Jane asked, surprised."Hey Jane! Just wanted to invite you over to my house for a sleepover."
    "Oh, sure I guess, lemme go on and pack-"
    "No!" I almost shouted then softened my tone "I mean, I'm sure I have somthing you can wear at my house." I didn't want her to go back into that house with that evil and mean woman in there.
    "'Kay, let's go." We walked-more like ran-to my hosue. When I opened the door to my home Jane gasped.
    "Wow..."she breathed. the inside of the house just looked normal to me but she looked so excited about it. Like she had never been intp some place so fancy. I walked upstairs and said that we should play dress up and I dressed her in some of my too small best clothes.
    "Those are a perfect fit! You can keep those because they are too small for me."
    "Really?" her eyes lit up.
    "If you tell me something."
    "Are you abused?" I asked carefully. She looked at me with surprise. No mkore like wide-eyed FEAR.
    "No. What makes you-what makes you think that?"
    "Oh, nothing, except the big old WELT on your head."
    "This? I, uh, I got it when I fell down, down a flight of stairs...yeah, down stairs." Her voice was shrill with the fear of what had really happened. I had what I needed.