"MUM!!!" I yelled "MUUUUUUUUM!!!"
"What is it now Sara?"
"Jasmine ripped up my homework!!!"
"I did not" Jasmine said, stamping her foot.
"Yes you did!" Why did Jasmine have to be so annoying?
"Bring me your homework Sara" Mum sighed.
I took what remained of my Geography project down to the kitchen where mum was making dinner. I had worked so hard for weeks and weeks and weeks on this homework, even missing some of my other homework just so this would be perfect. I'd done it in my best handwriting with my best fountain pen and made sure there was no mistakes what so ever. I'd had three homework detentions and had to do extra work in maths just so this would be finished on time. And now it was ruined. Now I just had half a sentence on why it's so hot in America and three quarters of a picture of Alaska. The rest was just a horrible disaster of torn up paper. It was damaged beyond repair.
"Here" I said holding back tears as I held out the two pieces of ripped paper.
"Sara, are you sure Jasmine did this?"Mum looked shocked.
"Yes" I said, not wanting to cause World War Three over it, but then I added, "I saw her"
"Why... would she do such a thing?"
I knew what she meant. "I wouldn't let her use my laptop" I all but whispered. I sat on one of the tatty chairs at the kitchen table and dropped the paper in the middle. Then Dad walked in from the front room. He took one look at my now tearstained face, then one look at mum, her face twisted with anger.
"What's wrong?" He said to us both. I pointed at the paper on the table. "What's this?"
"It was my project" He didn't need to be told anything else.
"JASMINE!" He bellowed up the stairs "GET DOWN HERE NOW!"
I'd never seen a seven year old move faster. She was down in three seconds.
"What is this?" His voice was strained with anger.
"I don't know"
"What do you mean, you don't know?" He thrust the torn up paper in her face.
"I don't know" Jasmine repeated. "It looks like ripped up paper to me"
"It is ripped up paper"
"Why are you so angry about some ripped up paper?" I couldn't believe she was taking this so calmly.
"Do you know where the ripped up paper is from?" Dad had gone bright red with the effort not to shout the street down. Jasmine ignored him. He phrased the question differently. "Did you rip up your sister's project?" I was having a hard time believing he hadn't exploded yet.
I spoke too soon. It's amazing how one simple word can change how someone is acting. "WHY DID YOU RIP UP SARA'S HOMEWORK, JASMINE? CAN YOU TELL ME WHY?!?"
"No" How was she being so calm?
Now it was Mum's turn to shout, but she was never as loud as Dad. "How can you not have a reason!?! People don't just rip up two months of someone else's hard work for no reason!!!!!!"
"She wouldn't let me use her laptop for my homework, so I destroyed hers."
I couldn't take it any more "For God's sake Jasmine, how are you being so calm about this?! You just all but ruined my whole life! How can you just... just...just..." I gave up. "FORGET IT" I ran upstairs to my room and slammed the door. Then I sank down to the floor and just sat there in a little ball against the door, sobbing my heart out. When I'd calmed down I got up and cleared away the small pieces of torn paper and got ready for bed, then I got my mp3 player down from the shelf and started to listen to random songs. I must have been there, leaning against my bed for at least twenty minutes before my Dad came in. He sat next to me and took my earphones out of my ears. I didn't care; I wasn't actually listening to the music anyway.
"Hey" He said quietly.
"Hey" I said even more quietly.
"I'm sorry about your project"
"Why do you need to be sorry it wasn't your fault"
"Listen. Your sister should know better, she's just, well, just..." He gave up; there was no single word to describe Jasmine
"She's not even sorry" I said because I knew she wasn't "she just thinks she can do what she wants to me because I'm adopted"
"No she's not" his voice was stern and there was a trace of anger in his eyes. "Maybe I could help you make your project again" He said his voice kind again. He was a bit sensitive about the fact that I had been adopted and he wouldn't believe in any way that sometimes people were being mean to me because of it.
"There's no point, it was in for tomorrow, I was just finishing it" Just then Jasmine came in - without knocking.
"Go away" I told her. She ignored me as always.
"Go" My Dad told her, and, what do you know? She left. "Hmm. I'll write you a note, I'm sure Miss Kellis will understand" He was right; Miss Kellis was the nicest person I knew (except Mum and Dad) and I was sure she'd understand. Dad looked at his watch. "Bedtime after Tea" he said "it's nearly Ten O'clock" Then, as if she'd been listening outside the door - which she probably had come to think of it. Mum came in with a plate of pizza.
"Eat quickly" She said "or you won't be up in time for school tomorrow" She left and so did Dad. I ate the pizza and put on my lilac pyjamas. Then I went downstairs to say goodnight to Mum and Dad. I stayed downstairs to watch the rest of The Bill then when I came back up I went to Jasmines room. I looked in but it looked like she was asleep so I said "Night Jazz" just to make sure. I shut the door as quietly as I could - not that it was possible to shut any of the doors in our house without them creaking - and started towards my room.
"Mmm?" I looked back into Jasmine's room. She was sitting up, her hair was a mess and the ‘jamas she was wearing had been screwed up in the bottom of her wardrobe for the past week. I couldn't see her face properly so I peered closer.
"Come and sit next to me please" I did so and wondered why she was being so nice: this was only the third time I'd heard her say ‘please'. She looked sad so I lifted her up onto my lap.
"Yes?" I said softly
"I'm sorry for ruining your homework"
"Awww, that's OK. Just don't do it again OK?"
"K. it's not ‘cause your adopted" It took me a while to realize what she meant
"No no! I didn't mean that Jasmine! I know that's not the reason!" there was one of them odd pauses and then Jasmine said:
"It's hard being seven you know." I laughed. What a random thing to say.
"And you think it's easy being thirteen, hmm?" I said tickling her. She giggled. "Calm down now. It's late." I laid her down and tucked the covers around her "go to sleep" I left the room, not bothering to try and be quiet and went into my own bedroom. It wasn't until I lay down on my bed that I realized how exhausted I was; I fell asleep almost immediately.