At 2:35, class was dismissed. As she gathered her things, Meg looked out at the dreary day outside. The weather seemed to feel just as she felt. While the other kids left the class, Meg walked up to Ms Lars’ desk.
“Yes Ms Lars?”
Ms Lars straightened.“Meghan, you need to learn how to pay attention. You’re an intelligent girl, but your grades are dropping rapidly.”
“I know Ms Lars. I try to pay attention, but I can’t. It gets worse every day. I don’t know what’s happening. It’s just hard.”
Ms Lars frowned. “I know it is, but we need to figure something out. I’ll talk to your parents about this, and see if we can reach an agreement. I’m tired of calling you out in class, and I know you are too.”
Ms Lars shook her head. “No buts. You may go now.”
Meg walked out, despondent. Leslie was waiting outside the door.
“So, how’d it go?” Leslie questioned.
“Meg, I’m telling you this as a friend, but you do need to learn to pay attention.”
“I know! But I just can’t, and I don’t know why,” Meg huffed.
Leslie sped up her walking. “Let’s forget about about this for now, Meg. C’mon, I see Jamie and Rose!”
Jamie and Rose were Leslie and Meg’s “second half”. The four girls did everything together. Well, almost everything, Meg thought sadly. Meg was the only one who visited Ms Leers. And Meg was the odd one out, in a way. She was different from them. The girls had everything in common, but Meg was a, well, wild card.
Meg sighed. She was sick of getting in trouble, and seeing her friends disappointed in her. She didn’t want to be around people today. Except for Ms Leers.
“I’ve got to go.” She turned and ran down the hall, tears streaming down her face, and she saw the concerned faces of her friends, about to say something- but she hopped on her bike and sped away to the other side of town.
Meg screeched to a halt outside of a small, run down cottage. She dropped her bike next to the porch and went to knock on the door.
Meg pushed the door open and left her jacket on a hook. Ms Leers was sitting on her couch.
“Meg,” Ms Leers smiled. She was a small, slight woman, with gray hair. She looked frail, but her eyes were alive and sparkling.
“Today I will tell you the whole story, for I sense that your time is near.”
Meg frowned, puzzled. “What do you mean by that?”
“I mean, that someday, you will go through the gutter, someday soon, and I want to prepare you for what will occur.”
Meg nodded, grinning so wide she thought her face would burst. Going through the gutter was something she wanted to do dearly, and the idea that she would be able to thrilled her.
And so it began.