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About the cover: The cover image is titled The Cellar. It was uploaded to Flickr by Steven Roy, and is being used under a Creative Commons 2.0 License.


Starting Over Really Sucks


Jason Moore cast a longing glance at the wall clock. In his thoughts, he cursed it for being so slow. Every second felt like a minute, every minute like an hour, every hour like an eternity.

Jason was in a prison for teenagers. He was sitting in a textured, bright orange plastic chair, with a wire basket soldered under the seat, and at waist level, a small wood-laminate surface that fit either a book or a sheet of line paper, but not both items at the same time. Benton High School was so much different than Jason’s old high school in San Diego, he lamented. Even the chairs sucked here.

Jason hated Benton. He hated the way the other students treated him; the way the girls would glance at him and whisper to themselves, the way the boys shouldered their way past him in the hallways, or merely ignored him as if he wasn’t even there. Jason hated that he was an outcast, because of how late in the school year he’d transferred, because he didn’t dress or talk like any of the other kids.

Jason hated most of all hearing students bragging about their prom dates or the upcoming graduation ceremony. He didn’t belong in Benton High; he didn’t want to belong in Benton High. He wanted to be back in San Diego, making his own plans to go to the prom with his buddies, and goofing around while rehearsing for the big day of graduation. That’s all his buddies kept talking about in their emails.

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