Chapter 5

I know I haven't updated in a r e a l l y long time, so I put up the first part of this chapter in order to satiate you until I have the whole chapter completely done. Don't know when that's gonna happen. Oh, and right before I wrote this sentence, after I saved, I realized that this document had the EXACT same number of letters/characters as Chapter 3. Just sayin'.

From where she was sitting, Kari stared up at her three friends in surprise, and they back at her. Mr. Liester interrupted the silence by saying, "I called Ana, Jay, and Melorie down here so we could talk a little bit. So, please, take a seat young ladies."

They all awkwardly looked around before deciding which chairs to sit in on either side of her. Jay spoke first, "So… what's up?"

The assistant principal shuffled some papers around, then finally cleared his throat and said, "As Miss Kari has told me about it, I'm assuming that you three know about some sort of… accident?"

The three mentioned swiveled their heads and looked at her with such perplexed expressions that Kari wilted in her seat, staring down at her lap and fingering the small patches of artificially-torn denim on her skinny jeans. She could just hear their unspoken thoughts, You TOLD him? Why? How much does he know? How did this happen?…

"I haven't received much information, so I was hoping you all could clue me in as to what actually happened?" Mr. Liester continued.

Kari looked back at her friends with a pleading look as not to reveal too much information but still to say something. Mel seemed to take the hint because she said, "Well, we -Kari and I- were out hiking the other night, and when we went up on this hill… Kari slipped, and she kind of hit her head when she fell. But, I don't think she had even a small concussion or anything, I didn't think…" Her deep brown eyes were wide in uncertainty.

Mr. Liester raised his hand to abate her rambling. He said, "It's okay, I'm not really here about that -I don't think- but more about Miss Kari's recent behavior, and I just wanted to know if this incident was linked at all, somehow to it. I don't really know what to make of it, to be honest…" as he scratched his head.

Kari gave a meaningful look to Mel in acknowledgement for her quick thinking. They just had to keep playing on the lie, this twist in the story. Ana decided to speak up, "So, Kari; what did you do this time, exactly, anyway?" leaning towards her.

She replied quietly, "Well, apparently, I accidentally threw a pencil at Mr. Higginsburg. Just about right in his eye,"

Her three friends gasped, but Mr. Liester interrupted with, "Back to what I was saying, I don't really know what to make of this, so I'm just going to say that you were so agitated by these headaches, possibly caused by a mild concussion, that you inadvertently caused a bit of physical harm to your teacher. So, I'm just going to let you off with a Saturday detention. And, of course, I'm going to call your parents."

Kari sighed morosely, while Jay and Ana rolled their eyes. As she looked over, Kari noticed that Mel had become silent and still, just watching transfixed; almost as if curious, in a way. But with a deeper look her eyes came across as almost distant, as if her mind was somewhere else…

Mel blinked, after which her eyes seemed more focused, and Kari quickly looked away. Am I just imagining things again?

The high school principal continued once more, "And as for you three, especially you Miss Melorie; you should know better. I would prefer that you didn't encourage others to hide any more injuries, especially from your parents." How ironic.

Kari jerked. It was almost as if she had heard the thought. Like she had 'heard' someone else's thought. But it was more defined than what she had been imagining earlier. Snap out of it, Kari. It's nothing.

"Got it?" Startled, Kari glanced up to see Mr. Liester watching her intently, waiting for an answer. Then suddenly, right after she opened her mouth to say, 'What?' something came to her almost as an afterthought, an echo, a reverberation of a thought, and so she, after which, immediately replied without thinking, "Alright."

The assistant principal nodded with a teasing twinkle in his eyes and said, "That's good."

It was then, a moment after she had time to process, that Kari realized that this statement is what came to her: Oh, and you better get that head of yours checked if it's going to be causing anymore trouble.

So… she didn't realize what he said until after she replied to what she wasn't listening to? That was weird. And confuzzling. Her brain definitely must have been malfunctioning lately.

This seems really short, but yes, there is more to come within this chapter.

Kari stepped up to her own front door and raised her finger to the doorbell, but hesitated. Kari froze, her forefinger just touching the button, for a number of terse seconds, gathering herself, preparing for… what? Finally, she took a deep breath and quickly pressed it, causing a burst of dinging to resonate from within. After waiting a few moments, the door was finally opened to reveal her foster parents standing there with deep frowns and scowls on their faces. "You're grounded for a month," she was told before she could even step inside.

"But mom, dad," Kari said, although the names meant nothing to her. They held no amount of respect, compassion, or preciousness in her mind anymore. They were just objects thrown into her life, and it was the expected thing to do.

"I don't want to hear about it," her dad interrupted. "I don't even want to know what happened. Just go to your room. Right now."

Before a single word from her mouth could be gotten in edgewise, she was immediately steered up into her room and completely ignored for the rest of the night. She had closed and locked the bedroom door, plopped down on the bed, buried her face in the pillow, and melted from the rest of the world for a full hour or more. When she looked up from her tear-soaked pillow, she realized that she hadn't even taken her backpack off her shoulders yet, much less taken off her sneakers.

She didn't know why still got upset over getting in trouble. It's not like it didn't happen often enough. But then she remembered something: she hadn't actually done anything wrong this time, had she? So, really, she was just upset how they never take her side, or even try to listen to her side of the story. Why were they so prejudiced against her, anyway? Are all parents like that? Or is it just me?

Okay, so it's still pretty short... I thought I was going to write more, but I'm just going to leave it at that. I'm kind of stuck on where to start for the next chapter so just bear with me, but I promise to give you the whole thing next time.

I'm going to be updating very slowly for quite a few more chapters, so just think of it as a semi-hiatus.