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Fitting the Deck This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

By increaseyourpace, Bel Air, MD

Today is first day of school number six. Even though I've been to five other schools within the past four years, those first few steps onto the cool tiled floor are always tough. The first few breaths of air laced with lemon-scented detergent always sting your lungs painfully. Even worse is the pounding of basketballs or lacrosse balls or soccer balls slamming between hands as jersey-clad boys toss them down the hallway. With each pound, the chaotic vibrations set me on edge. All the voices speak of last night’s game, the wicked party on Friday, who went out with whom on Saturday night. No one anywhere gives me any reason to be here. I can’t blame them though, seeing as there’s only one reason why I am here, why I chose this school out of a dozen possibilities.
My parents’ grips on either elbow corral me straight down the main hall and toward the office.

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