He left me there on the ground with nothing but a promise. I tried to get up but my left arm couldn’t manage to hold my weight. I looked down at it and let out a load groan. It was broken. What lie was I going to tell my mom this time?

I had always been a klutz- or so my parents thought. I was always falling off a tree, getting attacked by dogs, or whatever else popped in my mind when her worried eyes would stare. The truth was normally clumped in the back of my throat like a ball when she would finally ask what had happened. But I, for some reason, kept my promise to him. That’s probably why he chose me.

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He wasn’t good at school and failed almost everything- unless he cheated off of me. He was always angry, even upon arrival at school.

That’s how I knew it wasn’t me that made him that way. It had to have been his outside life. But why did he take it out on me? I paid for his lunch and gave him my work or did his for him. I even gave him my locker by the most popular girl in school. But he still didn’t stop.

I laid there thinking for a good five minutes. Should I feel bad for him or hate him? No, no. It doesn’t matter. But I was sure of one thing, I was definitely never going to tell him or show him my emotions. The thoughts in my head were the only things I was able to keep private. He couldn’t take them. Knowing him, he didn’t even know other people had feelings. He didn’t know I paid for his pain.

I pressed my back hard against the brick mailbox my left arm was awkwardly wrapped around. I pushed myself upward with my legs. The red jagged bricks cut deep into my skin. I could hear the rip of my skin but kept pushing. I couldn’t decide if the sting was from the dirt and rocks that were now in my back or from my self disappointment. Suddenly, my legs collapsed. It was the self disappointment. My head hit a brick that stuck out further than the rest before I hit the ground. I sat and began to cry silently. He had finally done it. He had finally defeated me. Now I was my own enemy. I touched my back softly to apologize. My body rejected my tenderness and shot a sharp pain from my back to my stomach. I pulled my hand away and wiped the blood on my ripped t-shirt. I knelt and prayed, hoping God would still accept me. I rose to my feet and stumbled home, dreading my mother’s reaction. As expected, she asked what had happened and another lie leaked from my lips. She helped me clean myself up, acting as my left arm and rushed me to the doctor, ignoring my continuous pleas. After seeing the doctor for the third time in one week, the nurse suggested to my mom that maybe I wasn’t as clumsy as I claimed to be. This got her thinking.

The next day I got called down to the principal’s office. She was a nice lady with curly red hair, so I wasn’t too worried. I knocked on the door and was told to let myself in. I pushed the door open with my bandaged arm, the only one I could still use. I froze when I saw him sitting there. His eyes shot through me, invading my most secret emotions and memories. He could see me sitting by the mailbox crying. He could hear me lie to my mom again. He knew it all, and the smirk on his face proved it. I sat and stared at the clock for the entire meeting, which dragged on forever. I kind of wish it had…

That day, I didn’t make it home. Instead, I remained lying on the ground outside a house several blocks from my neighborhood. I’m not sure how anyone found me. I was in too much pain to cry out for help. I heard the sirens and my mom crying, screaming my name. The good thing was I got to see her one last time. Also, I was able to watch real firemen at work- which is what I had always wanted to be. But I learned a valuable lesson, Mom: the truth is the key.

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