The Edge of the Earth

Mallory's world is thrown out or control when her mother seemingly leaves her father in the night. Though her father seems unchanged by the absence of his wife, he moves the both of them to a new town.

In addition to coping with her mother's leaving, Mallory has to learn to live in a new place while going to a brand new school with a brand new set of people. Nevermind that she seems to have been targeted the attention of the local conspiracy theorist.

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3. 3.

My day basically ended up as a pattern of being led to class by some classmate assigned by the teacher of that period. It was a boring pattern that I was sick of by the end of the day. Eighth period was science. I was terrible at science and I never really took an actual science class, so sitting in the back continued to be my plan. 

I spent my time looking through the textbook I had been given. It was a regular old science book with everything you'd expect inside. When that got boring I started listening to Mr. Osborne. He was talking about gravity and how the Earth moves around the Sun due to the Sun's gravitational pull. It was stuff everybody knew, and I wondered why it was being discussed until I heard the guy from this morning talk. 

"There's no such thing as gravity, Mr. Osborne." He said like he'd said it a million times before. 

"Calvin, of course there is. How do you think you stay tethered to the ground? What holds you down?" Mr. Osborne looked like he'd had this conversation a million times before too, but he kept his tone even. 

"God." Calvin rolled his eyes. 

"While that may be true, Mr. Richards," Mr. Osborne turned to the blackboard and drew a huge semi-circle and then a smaller circle. I assumed this represented the sun and the earth. "But Isaac Newton's law of relativity proves that Gravity keeps the Earth in the Sun's orbit and it keeps you and me on the planet." 

"Planet implies that the earth is spherical." Calvin made a circular gesture with his hands. Most everyone was either snickering in amusement or watching the conversation, waiting to see who would crack first. This must be a daily occurrence. 

"It is a sphere, Calvin." Mr. Osborne seemed to be getting frustrated now. 

"I'm sorry, sir, but I believe that it's not." Calvin shrugged and Mr. Osborne threw his head back and stared at the ceiling. "You see, there simply is no convincing proof that the Earth is round." 

"But it's the truth, Calvin." Mr. Osborne seemed to be done with the conversation now, "How do you explain the curvature of the earth when you look out the window of an airplane?" 

"I've been in plenty of airplanes and I've never seen the curvature of the Earth." Calvin crossed his arms and leaned back in his chair.

"How do you explain how planes can fly all the way around the Earth?" Mr. Osborne sighed deeply, and I got the feeling he'd asked all this before. I wondered why he kept going on with it. 

"Mr. Osborne, have you really forgotten since yesterday?" Calvin cocked his head to the side and raised his eyebrows. 

"Oh no, I don't think anyone could forget this conversation," Mr. Osborne chuckled and gestured toward me, "I just thought we should fill in our new student on your crazy." He gave a winning smirk and Calvin looked back at me. His jaw clenched and he turned and looked at his desk, defeated. 

I didn't think it was a very fair defeat. No one liked being called crazy, even if everything they were saying went against everything ever proven by science. 

Mr. Osborne went on to disprove why the Earth wasn't flat, and he encouraged all of us to look up more reasons to add on for the next time Calvin decided to mention it. Each proof would be extra credit toward our final grade. 

When the bell rang, everybody hurried out of the classroom, ready to go home. I followed them all and went to my locker. I wasn't too sure how I was going to get all my homework home without a bag, but there was no way I was going to leave it all here. I had to do it.

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My days went on, falling into something most people would consider normal. At school, I kept to myself in the background, and at home, my father and I kept to a little to no contact arrangement. I didn't make any friends and usually, my father was too locked in his room to hold a conversation. Sometimes I went days without talking at all.

Every day in Science, Mr. Osborne asked the class for proofs of a round earth, and everyday kids came up and wrote anything they had on the blackboard. I didn't care enough to look up anything, so I never made an effort to write anything down. I felt a bit bad for Calvin to be honest.

It felt wrong to me. Why should I bring proof of something proven by science forward just to embarrass someone I didn't even know? Something that did change was that Calvin never said anything in class again. After my first day three months ago, he kept his head down on his desk and he didn't move until the bell rang.

I never talked to him. I never tried to defend him when I heard people making fun of him in the hallways. But I wanted to.

About a month ago, I started doing research on a Flat Earth. It was completely nuts, and there was no way I'd ever believe it, but I still copied down every new proof against it to take home and find things to counter them.

The day before Spring Break, when Mr. Osborne asked for proof, I stood up. As I walked to the front of the room, I saw all hope in Calvin's eyes die. I had been the only one in class who didn't stand up and add to the huge list on the board. Mr. Osborne handed me the chalk with a triumphant smirk as I turned my back to the class.

It seemed like I was standing there for hours, writing down everything proving a flat earth. I countered everything on that list. I was surprised Mr. Osborne didn't stop me.

When my list was done I stepped back for everyone to see it. I let it sink in for a moment before I cleared my throat and started speaking the words I had been practicing for months.

"Science is supposed to be an exploration of the truth," I said, my voice shaking more than I liked. "Why do you believe the earth is round? Because some guys a thousand years ago said it? People thought the world was flat a thousand years ago too. There are proofs and disproofs for both. Obviously, it's either one or the other but having students just come up with one side because one student believes differently isn't right."

I felt like my nerves were going to shake me off the floor. I stared at Mr. Osborne and he simply stared back. No one said anything. When I finally stomped back to my seat I heard nothing but sudden whispers and snickers.

Mr. Osborne didn't talk about anything I'd said or the matter of a flat or round earth the rest of class. Calvin turned around in his seat and stared at me for a solid half hour. I tried ignoring him, but having the feeling of his eyes on me only made me feel hot and embarrassed.

I couldn't pay attention to the rest of class. I just stared at the board with my handwriting disproving everything we were all taught as truth. 

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