“Okay, okay! I’m awake!” I shout. My brother is shaking me.
“It’s time for school,” Calvin says.
I jump out of bed. “I slept that late?!”
I yank my clothes on and run downstairs, grabbing my backpack and the piece of toast that my mom holds out to me as I speed out the door 100 miles per hour.
The bus shoots fumes into my face as it pulls away from the curb. I scream, then trudge back inside.
”Mooom, I need a ride to schoool,” I call.
“Ride your bike, honey.”
“Do I have to?”
“Yes. I’m about to leave for work, and I can’t drive you.”
I hate my bike. It’s three sizes too small for me and covered in Dora the Explorer stickers from when I was five, I gripe to myself as I roll my bicycle out the door and off the curb. I hop on, but my knees are almost up to my chest.
When I finally get to school, I toss my bike into a hedge. I don’t want anyone to see it. I run as fast I can into school, hoping I’m not late. In the main hall, I check the clock on the wall, but it is already 8:30. I am 20 minutes late. I walk into the main office to get a late pass. As soon as the lady behind the desk hands me the doom-promising slip of yellow paper, I walk back out. As the damage is already done, I take my time making my way up the three flights of stairs to my classroom. Although I go as slow as a sloth, I still pant for breath outside my classroom door.
I’m sitting at my tan desk in the classroom. The teacher, Mrs. O’Hara, is talking, talking, and talking about math strategies. I hate math strategies. I’m staring out the window, looking at the clouds changing when something big, brown, and feathery with a wingspan bigger than Mrs. O’Hara’s afro flaps against the window.
It’s an owl! I almost say it out loud, but then realize where I am. Suddenly, the owl flies up and perches on the edge of the window where it’s open. Nobody else seems to notice it. All of the sudden, it shakes its wing and out falls an envelope. I jump up and run over to the window. The owl flies away, but I pick up the creamy white envelope off the floor.
Mrs. O’Hara calls over, “Isabella! What are you doing?” I shove the letter into my pocket.
“I… I was just picking up some garbage that I saw on the ground.”
I dig in my pocket for something, anything that can stand in as trash. Finally, in the bottom of one of my jeans pockets, I find an old piece of ABC (already been chewed) gum. It’s nearly bursting out of the wrapper, and it’s stuck to the bottom of my pocket. I yank and I yank, and then finally, it pops out. I hold it up to show Mrs. O’Hara. She looks disgusted.
“Alright… come throw it away. But I’ve got my eye on you.”
I hurry to the trash can. Once I’m back at my desk, I try to focus on Mrs. O’Hara and her boring math lesson until I can’t stand the suspense of the mysterious letter anymore. I slip the envelope out of my pocket and carefully rip open the seal inside my desk. I slide out the letter and unfold it. It is written in fancy cursive.
Come to the largest oak in Acorn Wood
Someone will meet you there.
You are destined to become friends
and do great things together.
The two of you are so different, yet, the same.
The Wise Owl
“Oh. My. Gosh.” I murmur.