Destiny's Child blasts in my ear; it is my fourth school in the past semester alone.
I keep my head low, hold the list of room numbers in my hand, walk swiftly.
Sixth hour is the slowest, likes the teacher's arid words.
Mrs. Hepp slurs, as if she thinks of her next words as she says the previous.
It is Pre-Calculus. It is quick and easy, and the answers require little thought.
Her words almost aggravate me, fuel a rage that is not directed towards her at all.
In my home country, in Ethiopia, this fuel is ye'isati it'elalehu; a hatred of fire.
I look at the small portraits on her desk, a desk that is disheleved with papers, blue ink pens, and a sign of her name, "Abigail Hepp".
Most of them are her, a young and wiry woman with greasy blonde hair and blue rimmed reading glasses.
In one of the photos, she hugs a woman of considerably older years, undoubtedly her mother.
I think of how it felt to have a mother. Ye’isati it’elalehu. I turn up Survivor, and let the music fill my ears.
When the bell rings, I follow her to her car; I can't stop myself.
From behind the thick brush covering the south side of the school, I watch her open the rusted green trunk of the Toyota Corolla.
Without thinking, I speak in her mother's voice.
"Abigail?" My words travel like a tunnel, straight to the woman's ears. Her back stiffens. She turns towards me, but she cannot see me.
"Abigail, I won't ask again. Come here." Hesitantly, she approaches. Again, without thought, I grab her and pin her to the sodden leaves under the brush. Before I bite, I am smaller again, in my true form. A Crocotta, uncontrollable, blasting music and doing what I do best.