She was walking down the road. Gravel biting at her face as the winds picked up. 15-year-old Dawn had a messy life at home. Her mom was rarely home. She spent most of her time with the opening and closing hours at the local bar. Her dad always looked at her in a way that gave Dawn the creeps. An older brother who had run a way a few years back she never heard from.
For the most part Dawn had raised herself for the last several years. She got up for school with her alarm. She fixed a bowl of cereal and packed her own lunches. Dawn liked school. Not for the fact that she was shaping her life for adulthood; but because she heard noise. Kids running to and from classes. Teachers mumbling out of books.
She had a couple of friends but nothing really she could call close. It was fall and decorations were seen everywhere. Hanging ghosts from trees. Pumpkins sitting on porches. Orange lights hanging from windows giving off a spooky glow.
She was almost to school one day when a girl about her age hopped off her front porch and slid up beside Dawn, feet in rhythm, she walked beside her.
” What’s your name? Mine is Molly. We just moved here. This is my first day of school. You know I just hate school. My parents ride my ass all the time about how I need an education.”
Molly pulled out a pack of cigarettes from her back pocket. Lighting one up and making an O ring she offered one to Dawn who turned her down.
” So what did you say your name was?”
” I didn’t but it is Dawn.”
” Dawn huh, nice name I guess. Dawn and Molly, sounds good together.”
The two girls walked until they came within a block of school. She didn’t know what planet this chick was from but hey, someone was talking to her. Dawn stopped behind the school trash dumpsters. Molly stopped too and Dawn whispered, ” I think I will take one of the cigarettes if you still want to offer one.”
” Sure girlfriend, what are best friends for?”
Molly lit it for her and Dawn swallowed hard in order not to show this new friend she had never tried smoking before. Molly slapped her on the back and laughed. ” Don’t worry kid, it gets easier with each one.”
The two stood there while Dawn forced each puff. squashing it out with her feet the two went inside the school doors.
After school was over Molly was waiting right in the same spot the two had split. Going behind the trash cans Molly offered another cigarette which Dawn took. The two girls inhaled and chatted about the day. The girls walked home. Molly did most of the talking and Dawn listened.
It was obvious Molly had lived a more exciting life than Dawn had. They parted ways and once home Dawn went to the fridge and got herself a pop and some crackers. She went to her room and closed the door. Laying on her bed she ate and thought about everything Molly had said.
She wished she lived this kind of life. Molly smoked and had even tried pot. She even had sex already. Dawn had not even had a serious boyfriend yet. She fell asleep dreaming of how her life could change now that she knew Molly.
Day after day the two girls met. They went to school and went home. They started spending weekends together, and Molly even taught Dawn how to skip school. After all, there was so much more to life than just school, Molly would say.
Molly made friends easily. She introduced them to Dawn and soon she was popular. This crowd she was running with wasn’t the kind your mother dreamed of you being around. More drugs were introduced. Drinking on the weekends became a regular thing.
It wasn’t long at all before skipping school became a once a week thing. Then it was two, then three, graduating up to a week one time. The school was calling but no one was answering.
One time when Dawn was smoking a joint in her room the doorbell rang. She peeked out her window. It was a cop. Dawn’s heart began to race. What should she do? She quickly called her friend and was instructed to get a small bag together quick. Quietly slide out the back door and high tail it over to her house.
It took less than five minutes and the house was empty. When Dawn walked upon the porch Molly was standing there waiting for her with her own back pack. The two said nothing. They started walking not looking back.
Dawn’s mind was asking so many questions. There was a little fear making her stomach hurt. But she wasn’t going to get the shit kicked out of her for not going to school. She had no choice but to follow or go back.
The two had made it to the edge of town when a car pulled up next to them. Gravel biting them in the face as the winds picked up. Three guys were inside. Smiling they told the girls to hop in. Molly did just this and Dawn followed.