The bruises were nearly faded. Leila only had to use a bit of make up to cover the dark spots on her arms and cheek. They should be completely faded by tomorrow. The sun was already fully over the horizon by the time the bus let her and the other kids off at the school.
As she filed into class with the others, Leila was stopped by Miss Fairway. “Leila, how are you today?”
Leila smiled. “I’m good, Miss Fairway. What about you?”
“I am doing very well, thank you for asking.” Leila hurried to her seat and opened her backpack to pull out one of the new books she had gotten from Neverland’s Treasure. Marley had told her it was part of a series so naturally, Leila was racing through it so she could read the second one.
“What book do you have there, Leila?” Miss Fairway had appeared at Leila’s shoulder, peering over to try and get a look at the text.
“Um,” Leila closed the book and examined the cover. “‘Little House in the Big Woods’”
“I loved that series!” Miss Fairway said. “You know that the stories actually happened? The author was writing about her life experiences.”
Leila said, “This was her life? She actually did these things?”
“Yes,” Miss Fairway said. “Doesn’t it seem difficult? All that work – “
“I think it sounds awesome,” Leila said. “So far, it seems like a really good life.”
“It seems like a lot of work,” Miss Fairway cautioned.
“I bet it’s worth it,” Leila said.
The school bell rang just then and Miss Fairway and Leila had to stop their conversation. Miss Fairway was immensely perplexed by Leila. Just a couple of days ago she was quiet and moody, so reserved and shy. Now she read her book with eagerness and passion, light shining from her eyes; she was so full of life. Miss Fairway made a note to herself that she would check back in at the police station after the school day had ended to see if they had looked in on Leila’s situation. Miss Fairway was sure there was a situation and she wouldn’t be persuaded otherwise.