An outcast. That's me.

Unwanted. Unknown. Unlike them.

Why do people back away from me in the halls? Because I'm different. They don't want me, and I know it.

So why don't they just get rid of me?

Because they know I'm of value. That's just how selfish these people are. They don't like me, but since I'm of worth, they keep me in their clutches. Like hawks. Or vultures.

Oh, sorry. I'm Jojo and I've been training to be in this stupid mission for over a year. I can fight. And I'm smart. That's why they keep me. Because they think I'm their best chance at defeating the Shades.

Wait a sec. Let me backtrack. It all started two years ago.

*   *   *

I was fourteen. Life was getting hard. My parents were having troubles with being together. My brother was out all night doing who know what. My grades were something like crap. Only my older sister, Madeline, was holding it together. I don't know how she did it. But she did.

The night she died in a car crash, I just about lost it. I ran outside in the pouring rain and didn't stop until I was about two miles away from home. I could hear my parents screaming into the rain for me to come back, but I didn't listen.

I didn't care that I was still shivering in my thin flannel pajamas that had been thoroughly soaked through, my hair hanging in wet strands and sticking to my face. I didn't care that my teeth were chattering beyond control. I didn't care that I felt like I was going to die.

The End

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