Some days you wake up and just know that something is going to happen. Something is going to change your life forever. You go about your day, waiting for it, bracing yourself for it. But somehow when it happens, no matter how much you have prepared yourself, it's never quite what you expected. It still happens. It still changes your life forever. There's not really much you can do about it; nothing but wait.

1

Sara

Hi. I'm Sara Lily Greene. I'm sixteen, and a sophomore at Red Lake High. I was born here in Red Lake, like my parents. Only, I won't be like them. I won't stay here for the rest of my life. No. I'm getting out.

I am the youngest of five. My oldest brother, Mark, is thirty-two and the rest of them range from twenty to twenty-six. So, not only am I the youngest by four years, but I'm also the only girl. Let me tell you, it doesn't get much worse. My parents started saving for Mark's education the year he was born. They put fifty dollars in every month, so that when he was eighteen, he would have over $10,000. When James was born, he got forty dollars every month. When he was eighteen, he got over $8,000. Luke got thirty dollars every month, so he ended up with over $6,000. Daniel got twenty dollars every month, so his totaled over $4000. I am getting ten dollars every month, so I get like $2000. Oh, goodie. Now I can go to the college in a cardboard box.

The money doesn't matter so much, though, because I can easily get an art scholarship to any school I want. Not that I'm even sure I want to go to college. With only two years of high school left, I am just beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I don't know if I could stand four more years of education. But anyways, like I said, the money's not such a big thing for me.

The main thing about being the baby girl in the family is that my parents are, like, totally against me having a life. If I want to go to a party on the weekend, it's, "No. Little Jamie went to a party when he was your age and he came home drunk!" If I want to take the Benz out for a spin, it's, "No. When Daniel drove it, he crashed it head-first into a tree! It cost us $6000 to get it fixed up again." Nevermind the fact that Daniel was four when that incident happened. Let's focus on the fact that Sara shouldn't be able to have a life.

But, hey. That's my parents. I've given up fighting with them. They're so stubbornly ignorant. They don't even want to hear my side. But that's what I'm doing now. I'm giving my side. Not Mark's side, not Daniel's side. Not Jamie's side of Luke's side. Sara's side. I'm giving Sara's side. I guess you're wondering what it is I'm giving my side about. Well, it's a long story, and I'm not really sure to begin. That's partly because I can't remember exactly when and where it started, and partly because when you write a story, you always should have a solid beginning. I wouldn't want to compromise that by starting in the wrong place.

I guess it might have started in NYC. I went there for my twelfth birthday. That's when I first saw Them. Well, I didn't see all of Them. I just saw a couple. I don't know, maybe at that point there were only a couple that even existed. I don't think I would have noticed Them, except that They were staring right at me. It's like They knew me. And They were waiting. They were waiting for something. They didn't look that different from you or me. Except, well, the way They were dressed. They were dressed kind of fancy-like. They had on black suits and slicked back hair. Like something out of a crime movie. I looked around. They couldn't be looking at me, right? I mean, They didn't know me. But when I looked around nobody was there, which was kind of weird. I mean, we were in NYC, right? Like, on what is usually a very busy sidewalk. And now everybody was gone. My mother, my father, my brothers, they were all gone. But They were still there. They were staring at me, expectantly. Like They knew something was going to happen. They didn't look excited that it was going to happen, but They didn't look like they were dreading it, either.

Then all of a sudden, the people were back. Filling up the sidewalk, filling up the streets. I screamed. I didn't know what to do. I mean, had I imagined it all? I didn't think so, but maybe I had passed out for a moment or something. Anyways, I didn't really know what else to do besides scream. So I did. I screamed as loud as I could for as long as I could. That's when it happened. It was what They had been waiting for. It was happening. I couldn't do anything to stop it.

"Everybody STOP!" cried a loud voice from behind me. I did. I stopped screaming and closed my eyes. Everybody from twenty feet around stopped, also. I felt a hand on my back and somebody whispered in my ear, "Scream and you're dead." Then the arm wrapped around my throat and I felt pressure on my ear. I would later be told that it was a gun.

My mother ran to me, and he shot her. He shot her in the leg. She fell down onto the sidewalk. My father looked at her, but knew that if he ran to her, he would probably be shot, too. So he just looked at her.

"What's your name, little girl?" said the voice. I tried to speak, but my mouth was so dry that nothing came out.

He pressed the gun harder. "What's your name little girl?" he said a bit louder.

I licked my lips and swallowed. "Sara," I said. He dropped his hand from my neck and turned me around. He handed me the gun and faced it towards him. He put my finger on the trigger and said, "Pull."

Well, you know, all I could think was, "Hey, I'm not even supposed to HIT people, let alone KILL them."