“Mom,” Texie said. No one replied. She put her schoolbag on the kitchen table. A beep came from her phone and she shivered and glanced at the text. The gang leader refused to let her out.
Tears ran down her face and she cursed. She couldn’t tell her Mom; she would never understand.
The only way would be to take the beating.
They almost killed her. They cut the tattoo off her left forearm and fractured a rib. She told her mom she had a fight and not to worry.
The only way she could avoid them was to stay at school longer. Texie joined the track team and soon she excelled in several events. But she never got any close friends. The other girls came from different worlds.
On graduation day her mother hired a photographer to take pictures of Texie in her gown. She had one image blown up and framed and it sat on the mantle over the fireplace.
Texie went off to college in the Spring. She never saw her mom again.