1. The girl with the hood
She was the girl in the back of the class. Who never raised her hand. The girl with the hood to mask her hair. Every school had one. You may not know her. Alessia Burbank was that girl. Eyes burned into her skin like music onto a cd when she was called on. She had this inside attitude, that someday her dad would come. Her mom would forgive her. She would be happy, and take off the hood. Things would be right. But something small, like a smile from such a weak girl was so strong. And no one knew why.
Alesia awoke to her name during English. "Huh?" She lifted her head. Everyone turned to face her. The nerds, the fashionistas, the jocks: they were all united for that one rare moment. "Alessia, bring your things to the office. You're going home." On the inside Alessia was screaming, "I didn't do anything! So unfair!" On the outside, she just nodded and left.
In the office, her parents waited. Together. Her jaw dropped. "Daddy?" She grabbed this strange and exciting man in a hug. "You know Ms. Burbank, that's the only time I've seen her pretty eyes light up." The secretary told her mom. "Lessa, how would you like to live with me for a while?" Alessia's dad asked her holding her hand. "Sure, is it ok with my mom?" She asked. Ms. Burbank nodded. "We'd have to leave tomorrow of course my flight back to California leaves at 6:30 and then-" "Wait! California?" Her dad nodded "At the M.R.C, where I work. You'd help out with the sea life and all that. You can swim with the dolphins!" Being in Mid Oklahoma, Alessia didn't have much experience swimming. Her father didn't know what she did.