Song 10 ♪ The Diary of Vera

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Saturday morning I rolled on my bed, blissful in the knowledge that I could sleep in for a bit. My roommate's snores lulled me back to sleep, until a knock on our door woke us both up.

"It's Sister Louisa, may I come in?"

Groggy, we both gave an affirmation. I picked up my phone and saw that it was only 7.30am.

She opened the door just enough to pop her head in. "Good morning girls." We tried to wish her the same but it came out like unintelligible mumbles. "Vera, your mom is here to pick you up."

That snapped me awake. "What? Why?"

She smiled. "Because it's the weekend."

"But," I said as I lifted my bed sheets, which were much more comfortable than the ones at the gringo's house. "I have a lot of homework I was meaning to catch up on this weekend. I told her to not pick me up."

Sister Louisa's Mona Lisa smile didn't change. "She's waiting for you in the headmistress's office. I suggest you hurry."

She closed the door behind her and I looked at Addy with desperation oozing from my pores.

She blinked, slowly. "I take it you don't want to go."


But I knew there was little choice, so I stood up and collected the necessities. I tried to hurry in the bathroom but by the time I made it downstairs and saw her, my ma looked like I'd made her wait three whole hours.

"Vera Maria," she used that tone, the one that when I was a kid was followed by a flying chancla. "Do you have everything you need?"

I gave my best fake smile, because the Mother Superior was looking at us. "I thought I had to put in a request to the school for weekend leave. I didn't put one in this time."

The nun pushed her glasses up the bridge of her nose. "True, but your parents can just come and pick you up, too."

With pursed lips I realized that no matter what tactic I tried I couldn't outsmart my mother. I thought I could hide from her for most of the year, but how wrong was I. Once we were in the car, with all my things in the trunk, she revealed the real reason why she picked me up. And it wasn't because she missed me.

"One of the girls cancelled." She pulled the car out of the school's parking lot. I recognized the streets she drove down on. I also recognized the mansion she pulled into. "I brought your uniform."

Panic seized me by the throat. I could not be seen by Ashton cleaning in his home again. Mad as I'd been that he hadn't recognized me the first time, I was probably luckier that way. What if he had and then had told everybody in school? Everybody would make fun of me. I'd be an example to Addy on what an outcast really was.

I didn't want to see the look on his face if he saw me this time, because now he'd recognize me for sure.

"Um," I said, not yet moving from the passenger's seat. My eyes glued on the massive house. "Don't you have another job going on this weekend that I could do instead?"

My ma turned off the car and gave me a look that was equal parts mad and confused. "Since when do I work two houses at the same time, niña? Are you crazy?"

I looked down at my lap. "No, I-" But I stopped myself. I couldn't tell her that this was my classmate's house. She wouldn't care. She might even get mad that I do.

I followed her into the house and changed into the uniform in the service restroom. I gathered all my hair into a net, hoping that that alone would make me unrecognizable. I looked at myself in the mirror and shook my head. No dice. I was still glaringly Vera. I didn't know how Superman did it.

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