I ignore Azrael as she attempts to put me down. I walk to the bus as if nothing is wrong. The others aren't fooled.
James sat next to me again. We talked on the way to school. And on the way back. He didn't press me to talk about my family as before. We talked more about his family. He introduced me to other girls in our grade. It was fun.
Before my father came home, I locked myself in my room. I opened my window and walked around the block. Already Azrael wanted out. I pushed against her. Let me out! She screamed. No. I will not let you control my life anymore. You are no longer welcome. She screamed and screamed with all her might. But I did not let that get to me.
I crawled back into my window. Standing before my bed was my father. In his hands was the belt. And my mother in the corner crying.