What's Worse Than Late?
Gabrielle, Age 12, British Columbia, Canada

"Come on! Hurry up! Mom, I promised the gang that I would be at school early today!" 15 year old Melissa urged her mom.

"Yes, dear, I know! Where are Katie's shoes?" Melissa's mom answered, frantically looking around the living room. She spotted the 2 year old's shoes behind a velvet chair, and hurried while putting them on Katie. Melissa looked at her watch. What was taking her so long?? She told Geoff, Sarah and Josh that she would be at school early! Her mom hurried to the car and Melissa hurried after her. She pulled into the school parking lot just as the first bell rang.

"Thanks mom, now I'm going to be late!" Melissa stormed out the door and into the school, running to make sure she got into her first class on time. Her mom sighed as she turned back home.

"I never do anything right, Katie. Why am I such a loser?" she asked the two year old sitting next to her.

"Melissa, where have you been?" asked Geoff, "You were supposed to be here like half an hour ago!"

"Sorry," apologized Melissa as she hurried to class, "it's my mom. She is always late! I wish that she would," she let her voice travel. "S'alright!" Sarah reassured her, "we didn't do anything anyway!" Melissa smiled at her friends and ran into her French class just as the second bell rang.

"Thanks for joining us, Miss Clancey!" Her French teacher, Mr. Grandelhoof said, "however, you are late. Please stay with me after school!" Melissa slumped back into her chair. This was all her mom's fault!! She wished her mom would just, well, do something right for a change! As she did her work, the loudspeaker went on.

"Will Melissa Clancey please come to the principal's office?" said the principal. Everyone stared at Melissa as she slowly got up, very confused, and walked out the door. Josh mouthed the words, "what for?" Melissa shrugged and walked down the hall towards the office. She sat down on the big, ugly plastic orange chairs and waited. Moments later, the principal Mr. Kassel motioned for her to come into his office. Melissa walked in and waited quietly.

"Melissa, I hate to be the bearer of bad news but, well, this morning your mother got into an accident." He looked at her while her mouth dropped to the floor.

"She, she's alright though? Right????!!"

"Well, Melissa, I'm sorry, but, well, your mother and your sister are," he sighed, "are dead."


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