On a quiet street in a quiet town lay a busy household as
Ashleigh Hogan prepared for her first day of school. Now Ashleigh isn’t entering school for the first time or anything
but since Ashleigh hasn’t been to school in three years she was excited to be going back. Ashleigh was home schooled
since grade nine and couldn’t wait to start her first and last year of high school. “You ready?” Mrs. Hogan
said through Ashleigh’s door. “Not even remotely,” Ashleigh
said as she collected all her books. “Well hurry up, you’re gonna be late,” Mrs. Hogan said as loud as she
could as she made her way down the hall. Ashleigh huffed as she grabbed her book bag; she stopped to take a look at her outfit
in the mirror. She fixed her blonde straight hair with black strands over her black hoodie and headed out the door. “Ashleigh!
One thing!” Mrs. Hogan said nearing Ashleigh, “Just remember what we talked about,” Mrs. Hogan said softly.
“Don’t worry,” Ashleigh said rolling her eyes as she headed out of the house.
Ashleigh walked down to the bus stop and she could feel people
watching her through their windows as she walked down the street. She would envision a little old lady asking her husband
where Ashleigh was going and that made Ashleigh vulnerable. Again, Ashleigh had never really attended public school; she had
been home schooled since she started living near Degrassi. Ashleigh started doing drugs at Degrassi to get ride of her baby,
at the time, and her parents thought the school affected it so they took Ashleigh and her sister Sarah out of private school.
However Sarah didn’t get home schooled; she choose private school and loved it so much that she decided to stay.
Ashleigh neared the end of the street as she could see the
bus coming down the road. “You’re new,” this kid said behind her, Ashleigh turned around and saw this Italian
kid standing behind her. “Well sort of,” Ashleigh said as she squinted her eyes to keep the sun out. “Oh
right, you’re that girl that lives down the street,” he said pointing towards Ashleigh’s house. “You
say that as if it’s a bad thing, like I don’t get out,” she said with a faint laugh. “It’s not,
I just never see you around.”
“I was home schooled, so I never really had a reason
to get out, ya know?”
“Yeah, but you weren’t living there forever, am
“I moved here when I was in the ninth grade, I was in
the school for a half year before I was home schooled.”
“See now that all makes sense. I’m Marco,”
he said as he held his hand out for me to shake. “Ashleigh,” she said as she shook his hand and then the bus neared.
“So where are you from, Ashleigh?” he asked as they walked onto the bus. “Vancouver,” she said as she sat next to him on a seat. “Cool place,” He said nodding in agreement. “Yeah
it is, I loved it, and miss it like crazy,” Ashleigh said laughing as she fixed her bag on her lap. “Actually,
I’ve been spending most of my time in Downtown Toronto since I moved here.”
“Even cooler place.”
“Yeah the shops and stores are so much better then what
we had back in Vancouver. I mean
they’re so much more interesting.”
“Yeah, I know what you mean,” he said with a laugh.
“So you excited about your first day?” he said in a joking way, “Not really,” Ashleigh said nodding
in agreement. “Why not? Degrassi’s interesting,” he said laughing. “I don’t know I’m just
not. Is that weird?” she said as she looked across him to look out the
window. “No, not really,” he said looking at all her pins and patches on her bag. “You play the guitar?”
he asked pointing to her Every Guitarist Has a Dream pin. “And I sing,”
she said with a smile. “Oh, god, you’ll fit in right away.”