The Writer's Voice

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Rachel Baumander


I just woke up, and I was scared to go.
Everything was spinning. What do I know?
I don't want to leave. It can't be done.
That world out there, is never fun.
I have no one to talk to. I'm all alone.
But I dream of the day I will be known.
Maybe one day, I won't wake up
To see that world so damn messed up!
Its gonna happen. I will be free.
Then maybe that will make them all see.
I need something to make them see
How it is they hurt me.
I get dressed in my school uniform
And walk afraid to my homeform.
That's how it is. Its so very sad.
How I feel there is very bad.
Its always the same. They never talk.
They only stare at the way I walk.
They cant see me. I'm so alone.
But I dream of the day, I will be known.



Chapter One


Row marow! The relentless screeching and scratching at the door continued to keep Rebecca awake. It was four in the morning! Why wouldn't Neko-chan just
let her sleep for two more hours? Rebecca hadn't been able to sleep until one a.m.
Three hours of sleep was definitely not enough for a day that she had to go to

Stupid cat, Rebecca thought. If Neko-chan was ever going to be quiet, she would
have to let him in. That cat loved Rebecca's room. He would spend hours at
a time sleeping on the pillows in there; cats sleep about two thirds of the

Rebecca forced herself to sit up, pushing off her blue, flowered blanket that her
grandmother had given her a few years ago. The small room was almost totally
black because Rebecca liked to keep her window covered by opaque curtains.
One of the only lights was the orange glow of the digital clock that sat on top of her

Seven! It was seven a.m., not four. How could she have slept for so long? She
vaguely remembered waking up at three and lying back down, but could she
really have slept for four more fours? She must have. Well, whatever. It was a
good thing that Neko-chan went nuts if there was no food in his bowl by seven. If he didn't, then Rebecca might have overslept; her mother had to leave very early in the morning to get to work, so she could not tell her to get up anymore.

She walked down the dark, creaky stairs, and around to the kitchen. She flicked
on the light. All was suddenly bright, and Neko-chan galloped from the top of the stairs to the corner of the kitchen where his food bowl was kept. His claws -- which were far longer than they should be because nobody could keep him still long enough to clip them -- scratched the tiles as he nearly ran into the wall.

Rebecca pulled the lid off the white Science Diet container, scooped about a third
of a cup, and poured it into the bowl. Actually it was just an old butter container. But Neko-chan didn't seem to mind, or notice. As long as Rebecca put food in it
at the right time, he was happy.

"Okay, my baby," she said, stroking his curly, coffee-coloured fur. He just crunched his food. She kissed him on the back and returned to her room to get dressed.

Neko-chan had been her best friend since she was seven; she would be fifteen in
three weeks. Her favourite thing to do was write poems and stories and share
them with him. She liked to think they understood each other, and would never let
anyone else read her work before she read it to him, not that she let many people read the things she wrote anyway.

In her room, she turned on the TV to the Comedy Network. There was a British
sitcom on every morning that she liked to watch, and sometimes helped her
with ideas for her own writing. While she watched it, she changed from her black bike shorts and white T-shirt she'd slept in, into dark jeans and a white golf shirt with her school's logo on it; everyone that went to Vaughan had to wear it. There was also a navy blue sweater for colder days.

Going to school had always seemed like a horror story for Rebecca. She hated
being around the one hundred or more other teens that she might have to talk
to. She felt like she didn't belong there, and that she'd never have any real friends
other than Neko-chan. It made her feel nervous just to get changed into her gym

Ever since third grade, when there was a group assignment, the teacher would have to place her in a group because she was too afraid to approach the others in her class. There were some days when she couldn't stand the idea of being around
other students so much that she would tell her mother she didn't feel well, so she
stayed home.

She suspected her mother didn't believe her all the time when she asked her to write a note for her; VP's collected a note every day from absent students, and if
they did not bring one, they were given detentions for skipping class. Rebecca didn't care if her mother didn't believe her. Any day she got to hide in her room, work on her poems, and read was a good day.

But today wasn't one of those days. Besides, there was a test in science, and a story was due in English class. Handing in stories and poems was one of the hardest things for her to do. It meant that someone other than Neko-chan would know the kinds of things that she wrote about.

She had shown the story to Neko-chan the night before. He seemed to like it,
but she was still worried about how her teacher would react, and what kind of mark she would get. Those stories were her own personal thoughts and ideas that she didn't like to share with anyone.

What if they were to laugh at it, call it stupid? What... what if... Oh whatever!

Suffice to say that any situation where Rebecca would have to talk or be judged by
someone would make her nervous. For the longest time she couldn't even ask
people the time if she didn't know them. It was so hard to even answer a question
in class unless it was directly addressed to her.

It was like there was a wall there, preventing her from saying anything. The words would always be spinning around in her mind. They hardly ever would make it to her mouth, though.

The show on the Comedy Network ended, and she gathered all her books and
papers that she would need for her morning classes. At lunch she could drop
those off and get the ones for her afternoon classes.

It was now seven thirty. That gave Rebecca one more hour before she had
to leave. Period one started at eight forty-five, and the school was just
across the street from her house.

"Oh, shoot, I forgot to print it," she mumbled to herself, referring to the story she
had to hand in.

The computer room was on the second floor, between her and her mother's
room. The walls were painted the colour of sapphire, Rebecca's favourite colour
because it looked so good with her dark hair and fair skin. On the right was an
oak desk with a black laptop hooked up to a printer behind it. On the left wall was a
small white couch where Rebecca had spent long hours reading and thinking of what to write about.

She sat in the swivel chair in front of the desk and opened to a word processor file
titled The Dance. She clicked the mouse a few times, and hit ENTER. The printer
started to go to work. There were three pages, plus a title page. That would only take a minute to finish printing.

While it printed, Rebecca had a chance to get some breakfast. Breakfast hadn't been a big deal for her for the last few years. She would rarely eat much more than a small bowl of cereal or a slice of toast. She'd never liked any kind of breakfast that required more than a toaster to make.

When she returned to the computer room, the last page of the story was being
printed. There was no need to rush, though. She sat on the couch, stirring the chocolate puffs until the milk turned brown.

She sat in silence. The only sound was her crunching the cereal. This was her
favourite part of the day. She was alone, didn't have to talk, didn't have to worry about the way she sat (sometimes she looked a bit funny sitting because she
had scoliosis, which is a curved spine), or how she looked. It was nice, peaceful.

But the second that ninety minutes ended, that was when the things she loved
ended, and all the things she hated started. Couldn't she stay at home? No,
she couldn't do that. Her marks were suffering enough without missing this test, and handing in the story late. She had to face the world today, whether she liked it or not.

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