I remembered waking up and walking down the stairs in the middle of the night and right before turning the corner, I heard someone talking in the kitchen and peeked in. I saw my mother and my father talking in hushed voices, but I heard what they were saying. "Carlos do you really think this is a good idea." "Miranda I know what you think, but we can't let her be brought into this life, she is too precious. You'll tell her I left you that I cheated on you. I don't care what you will tell her, I just want her to be safe." "Carlos she is going to get involved in this soon. You know how it will hit her." I got that covered, the others in this town, they have promised to protect her. You guys just have to stay here and give her this when it does hit her," he slid a piece of paper across the table. I ran upstairs before I could hear more, I closed my eyes and went to sleep.
I woke up the next morning to my mother's sobs, she was distraught because my father had packed up all his bags and left. I was only ten but even now I am sure that the night before was a dream. I must have heard them arguing, that's why I dreamed that I pushed it to the back of my mind. I stayed home with her for about 2 weeks, then I started to go back to school. I didn't really have any friends and most of the kids made fun of me because I had really full lips and unruly curly hair. People would come and pull on it and pretend their hand was stuck in it and they would all laugh at me.
The day I got back to school, they all teased me, laughing because I didn't have a dad at recess. They surrounded me and laughed and laughed till I just sat down and started to cry. But then I heard something in the crowd, a path then started to form to me then I saw them. They were pushing through the crowd and telling people to back off. I recognized them instantly, it was Jessica, Marcus, Nicolas, and August. I didn't really know them, but I had heard of them. They were some of the most popular people in school. They were all best friends and everyone in school had a crush on at least one of them, but they kept to their close group of friends. I never really paid attention to them because they left me alone, but now they were coming my way and everyone was moving out of their way like they were under some kind of spell.
They got to me and Jessica put her arms around me while the boys went to get the crowd to disperse. Jessica told me to stand up and she took me to the bench to sit down and then she tried to calm me down. Then Marcus came over and crouched down at eye level with me, "Are you okay?" He said softly. I sighed and tried to talk in a clear voice, "I'm fine," my voice cracked, but I don't think he noticed. Then the other boys came over, and August sat next to me, "Melenthia, do you think you would mind hanging out with us?" He smiled at me. I was surprised, "Um, are you guys sure?" I said, my voice still horse. "Definitely, I think we are going to be really good friends Mel." August smiled at me again and my heart melted.
The next few weeks I grew closer to those four. We did everything together and to and everyone left me alone and if they tried to mess with me Marcus would beat them up. Jessica came to my house with some hair products to try on my hair. After that she showed me how to use them and once I started to use them, not only did my hair look pretty, it made my lips look pretty which was amazing.
A few weeks after that we were sitting at the park and I thought of something, "Guys I'm so glad I have you right now, I was such a mess before you guys came in. I don't know what I'll do when you guys finally do get bored of me." I sighed. Then Nicolas grabbed my hands and looked into my eyes, "Mel, we aren't going to get bored of you, we consider you one of us now. You're one of our closest friends, we'd do anything for you." He told me in a low voice. As I looked around at the rest of them, they smiled and nodded. That was the first time I felt at home since my father had left me.