“Everything inside me is hollow. I can’t… I just can’t believe…” Isabelle stopped in mid-sentence and in mid-stride. I watched her from my bedroom window and wondered what she was saying to herself. Why she seemed to be in such a panic. She was acting like everything had gone just as horribly as it did when her mother left. Or had she disappeared? No one would spill the beans as to what happened to Mrs. Smith. I felt the fact she had such a boring name, a normal name – Alice Smith – that her name had to be fake. I knew Isabelle to be fairly calm most of the time, even after Mrs. Smith left. Sure there was the initial panic and worry, but Isabelle seemed to quickly move into acting like everything was fine. 

Now watching her pace up and down the street, I began to wonder what had happened this time. She had never been this out of control. Isabelle was always the one I tried to imitate because she never became ruffled. Taunted in the hallway by bullies? No big deal. Have her pants rip during PE? Who cares. There hadn’t been anything churning in the rumor mill so I hadn’t any idea of what was making her crazy. I was hoping Isabelle would get the strength to tell someone about what was happening, but I didn’t know how many friends she really had. She was relatively new to school, but had yet to mesh with anyone or any group. Now she was pacing, out in the open, as if she was daring anyone to ask if she was all right.  

I watched Isabelle for another thirty minutes and when she finally went inside, I wondered if that was the last time I would ever see her. I hoped not, but the determination on her face led me to believe this wasn’t the end of the story. When the only church in town was burnt to ashes the following Sunday, I finally had an idea of what her father had done. And why. 


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: