The Name Game
Esmerelda Shorte goes to the most prestigious private school in Connecticut. The teachers are perfect, her friends are perfect, and nothing could go wrong...
Until the day her teacher takes her class on a fieldtrip to Baskerville High, a school for delinquent kids that have been kicked out of normal school, and gives them a year long assignment.... to become somebody else.
I can still see our paintings, Ashâ€™s and mine. Theyâ€™re bloody and not very well painted, but theyâ€™re ours, and theyâ€™ve been protected by the state that nobody can paint over them.
Today, I glance over the back seat and smile at my little girl, who smiles at me with her fathers grin, and teeth slightly too big for her mouth.
â€œItâ€™s your birthday,â€ I say with a smile, and she shifts in her seat and laughs in delight.
â€œYup!â€ she says. â€œIâ€™m turning six!â€
â€œThatâ€™s right,â€ I say brightly. Her hair is curly and blonde like mine was when I was younger, and her eyes are a deep, mystic green. Sheâ€™s going to be a beautiful girl when she gets older.
I pull the car into the driveway and she jumps out, already sprinting for the front step where her dad stands, waiting for her.
â€œMolly!â€ he picks her up under the armpits and spins her around once before picking her up on his arm, his green eyes sparkling. â€œYouâ€™re home early!â€
I smile sadly at both of them as they head inside.
As I lock the car, I canâ€™t help but remember back to that day, so many years ago. I do this every time Iâ€™m alone.
And it bothers me to no end.
The tunnel, and the light. To think I nearly didnâ€™t return back to Ashton. To think I wouldnâ€™t be here anymore.
But I donâ€™t bother to think about it anymore.
I walk up the sidewalk, studying the flowers as I go, pulling open the door carefully and slipping my shoes off.
A single choice,
A single path.
The right choice.
And here I am.
Iâ€™m never going back.