Gertie awakened into a world familiar and bleak. Her faded wallpaper and antiquated bed brought no cheer to her mornings. She put her feet on the faded carpet and met the day.

Walking down the hall to the bathroom, her younger brother threw a toy at her, hitting her in the side. She yelped and threw it back. She passed her parent’s room and saw her Mom sitting on the bed, digging in her sewing box.

“Good morning, Mom”

“I’m busy.”


Gertie paused for a bit before continuing on her journey. Later, she entered the kitchen and her older brother was devouring a plate of eggs.

“Hi, Todd.”

No answer.

Preparing her cereal, she sat down in her seat, sitting on one of the family cats. The cat squealed, swatting her leg with its claw.

“Ow!” She looked down at the large scratch, which was already stinging.

Dressed and toting her backpack, she waited on the side of the road for the bus. When it stopped and the door swooshed open, the noise met her ears. She sighed and entered the melee. Two hits and two crude jokes later, she found a seat and pretended to be invisible.

She sat alone all morning. The silence was occasionally broken by insults. She watched the kids laughing together and felt so alone.

When recess came, she walked around all of the kids, dodging a ball thrown at her. She walked and walked until she found a tree next to the tall fence at the back of the playground. She climbed the tree, hiding in the large branch, in the leaves where no one could see her.

For the first time all day, she relaxed. The world was hers. A squirrel came down the tree and chattered at her. She smiled. The breeze felt good on her face and the leaves were like a robe of the finest silk.

The insults and the rudeness of the day abated and her timidity faded as she said, “Lord, thank you for listening‚Ķ”

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