Fading Smiles

Hi. I'm Hannah. I'm fourteen years old. My mom went missing when I was three years old and I'm now living with my dad who drinks constantly. He is grieving over the loss of his wife, my mother. What can I do? I have to find her. How? I don't know.


1. Usual

  I drummed my fingernails against the cool wood of my desk. My teacher, Mrs. Finn, was talking about something having to do with numbers and letters, or in other words, algebra. I have a long list of things I hate...but algebra has to be the first.  Tick-tock. Tick-tock. The ticking and clicking of the clock was driving me mad. Only forty more seconds of school for the day. I huffed and rubbed my face with my palms in stress. Thirty more seconds. I finger-combed my choppy blond hair. Twenty more seconds. I draw a heart in my algebra textbook. Ten. Nine. Eight. Seven. Six. Five. Four. Three. Two...DIIINNNNG! The shrill scream of the bell makes me jump. I collect my things and sprint out the door.

   I threw my books into my messy locker and and slammed it shut. I had no idea why I was so anxious to get out of school. I dont have tons of friends who I can hang out with or a huge house with an indoor swimming pool. In fact, I am the exact opposite. See, that's the confusing part. I attend Ridgewood Country Day, a private school where rich, snobby kids go. I'm here on scholarship. Not a science scholarship....definitely not a math scholarship. An art scholarship. I feel that art is my way of escaping this wicked world, full of hatred. I stroll down the hall and through the door. Of course, Valerie and her little clique are sitting at the bench right outside the school entrance. "Well..will you look what the cat dragged in," Valerie purrs. Her clique bursts into hysterics. I do my best to ignore them and walk away. "Awww, girls...I tink we hurt wittle Hannah's feewings," one of the clique members adds. They all do an exagerated puppy-faces. I scowl at them and continue walking. Their cackles echo in my mind. This is the last thing I need.

  Finally, I see the familiar little house on the corner with the rickety, old porch. My home. The stair creaks as my weight makes it bend. I haven't been getting any lighter these days. Sure, I'm not entirely fat but I have big hips and my legs are on the chunky side. I sigh and open the screen door and step into the unwelcoming house. The familiar smell of cigarettes and beer lingers around the air. "Dad?!", I don't even know why I'm trying. I know he's not here.


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