It was a beautiful, mid-July day. Outside, there were wispy clouds scudding across the forget-me-not-blue sky. The grass was long and thick and bright green. The leaves on the tall, old trees swayed in the lazy breeze. I sighed longingly. I was staring out the kitchen window, my chin resting on my hand, the smell of wildflowers floating all around me.
"Lucy, are you paying attention?"
I jumped. I looked around, into the lined, warm face of my mother. Her glasses were perched on her head, in the midst of her coarse, sandy-blonde hair.
"Sorry, mom," I apologized. I picked up my pen and gathered my notes together. My mother sighed.
"I suppose it's time for lunch, anyways," she said. Her weathered old chair made squealing noises as she pushed away from the tiny kitchen table. "What would you like, dear?"
"Grilled cheese, please," I said, backing my chair out as well. My mother busied herself in the tiny kitchen, pushing aside papers and sketchbooks, pencils and bills. Opened the beat-up silver breadbox and pulled out a bag of whole wheat bread. My mother frowned upon any other kind.
My family and I lived in a little house in the country, on the borders of Blackstone, an obscure town somewhere in North Dakota. It was only me, my mother, and my step-father, who I called 'dad' in the wake of the 15-year absence of my biological father. I was sixteen now.
Our house was reasonably small, old, and very charming. My mother's quirky personality could be found all over the house. Her artworks hung all over the walls and there were vases of her favorite wildflowers in every room. None of our furtniture matched.
The only problem I had living in the little house was the fact that I was homeschooled. There was nothing I wanted more than to be a 'normal' girl, who got report cards and had regular school days.
I sat down at the tiny kitchen table again, watching my mother as she prepared my lunch. I wondered if she would allow me going to school.
"Mom?" I asked. My voice was soft.
"Mm?" she said. I watched her tanned, bony hands working. Her wedding and engagement rings flashed in the sunlight streaming in from the screen door and open windows.
"Can I go to high school?"