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   "Git out, ya little rat!"

   Sabrina Jones ducked just as her drunk father swatted at her head.  

   "Now if I want to hit you, I have every right to," he reminded her.  

   He grabbed his daughter's arm and yanked her over to him.  Sabrina closed her eyes, bracing herself for another bruise.

   But as Mr. Jones lifted his arm above his head, he knocked over his beer can and it clattered to the floor, spilling what little remained of its contents.  As the large man grunted and bent down to pick it up, Sabrina dashed out the door, slamming it behind her.


   But the young teenager didn't hear.  By the time her father had drunkenly realized what had happened, his daughter was already well down the block.  She was very fast; she often had to use quick escapes to get away from her crazy father.  Once she was halfway to her school, she stopped, gasping and panting.  She took off her backpack and set it on the curb.  Sabrina opened a pocket and took a bottle of water out.  She chugged the entire thing.  In her anger at her father, she threw it on the ground.  One passing lady shook her head at this action, which only made Sabrina even more mad.  She cursed under her breath, swung her bag over her meaty shoulder, and continued on the way to school. While she was walking by one alley, a short man in black sneaked up behind her and tried to take her book bag.  She responded by slugging him in the face.  The man clutched his head and scurried off.  Sabrina had learned to take care of herself, having lived in the bad part of town all her life.  She was extremely strong, and could easily defend herself from her father.  But she chose not to.  Even Sabrina didn't know why she let him hurt her.  She just couldn't stick up for herself around him, even to save her life.

   When the girl arrived at school, she shoved her way through the crowd of kids who had gotten off the bus.  She hated those children.  A few years ago, when she transferred to that school, she had been waiting for the bus to come for about half an hour on her first day.  She was late.  And why?  Because the bus garage refused to allow its students to be near Sabrina's neighborhood.  They might 'get hurt'.  So Sabrina was branded the kid who was late on the first day of school and worse- the one who lived in the dangerous neighborhood.  So she hated the kids who were being unloaded from the buses because they had parents who cared enough to raise their families in a safe neighborhood.  In short, she was seething with jealousy of them.  

   Sabrina pounded up the steps to the eighth grade floor.  Again, she pushed and shoved people out of the way as she went to her locker.  Sabrina Jones was not mean by nature, but it was her father who showed her that you bully people into getting your way.  Therefore, if Sabrina wanted to go to her locker and be on time for homeroom, she would force people out of her path.  She didn't know any other way.



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