The pain in my head lets me know I’ve fallen. I know I shouldn’t have been trying to climb fences in my uniform. Really, I do know better. It’s just… there’s an apple tree in my neighbor’s backyard and I was really hungry so I decided to, as my mom says, “Make my own luck.” I see the boys do it all the time. How was I supposed to know my skirt was going to get caught on the pointy bit at the top, just as I’m swinging my leg over to get down on the other side?

I reach up and touch my forehead and I feel soft little trails where the pain is. I swear the slight indents spell map, but then I look down and see the little stone has Pam on there. The neighbor’s dead cat. Great. Evidence. I’ll have to cover that up with a hat or something. Where am I going to get a hat?

Time to grab the yummy prize I came here for. The tree towers over me. I feel my mouth water as I think of how it will feel as my teeth break the skin on the…I better grab one and get out of here before someone sees me. I pluck a few apples out of the tree – extras for my trouble – and run back toward the fence when I see, right there, clear as day, the open gate. No time to feel stupid now. I run through the yard almost bouncing in the soft grass, cross the threshold of the yard and clomp like a loud horse onto the sidewalk. I look around as I catch my breath.

I did it! I take an apple out of my bag as I walk – quickly – toward school.