Rebecca looked at her wrist and picked up her books. She pushed the books into her backup and pulled it up on to her shoulder. A girl came up behind her.
"Hey Becca," the girl said.
Rebecca turned around.
"What time is it, Bec?" she asked, smiling.
"Huh, got the time?"
"Come on Aubrey, cut it out."
"Oh come on Bec, can't take a little joke, a little ribbing."
Rebecca just looked at her classmate and sighed, turning away.
Rebecca pushed her way out into the crowded hallway of her high school. She moved upstream against the flow of people, struggling to get to her next class. A boy bumped into her and looked up.
"Excuse me," he said. He smiled. "Got the time?"
Rebecca just shook her head and trudged forward.
Rebecca got to the classroom and sat down next to a red-haired girl.
The red-haired girl smiled. "What's goin on, why the frown."
"Let's talk after."
The teacher stood up at the front of the class and cleared her throat.
Monica reached over and squeezed Rebecca's arm.
The teacher turned to the chalkboard and wrote on the board 'Bill Budd'. Rebecca sighed.
In the lunchroom, Rebecca sipped her carton of milk through a small straw.
Monica looked at her across the table.
"So why not just dump the watch already, if its causing so much trouble."
Rebecca looked down at her wrist and shook her head.
"Come on, Monica, my mother bought me this watch."
"But Becca it doesn't even work!"
"That's not the point! You still don't know, uh, what my mother went through to get me this watch. She has, well she has, I guess an attachment to things."
"It's just a watch, how'll she'll know?"
"Monica, she will be personally insulted not seeing her daugher wearing the watch she gave her, even if it is useless."
"I don't know, doesn't seem worth it. Why not just stuff it in your bag?"
"I could forget it, who knows it..."
"It could get broken?"
Rebecca walked home from school. She went through a path off the main road. She kept looking over at her watch, looking at the little minute and hour hands spin around completely loose on the watch face.
'Why do I have to look like a freak?' she thought to herself. She grabbed the watch and pulled it off her wrist and put the watch in her bag. She put it down softly on top of her books. She stepped off the path and walked up the street. A car stopped next to her, and the driver rolled down the window.
"Want a ride Rebecca?" the older woman asked.
"Sure," said Rebecca, opening the passenger door. She held her bag in her lap.
"How's school?" the woman said.
"Are you up for another babysitter gig? I got a call from a friend asking."
"Sure Mrs. Abbey, but maybe I check with my mom first."
Mrs. Abbey honked at the car in front of her. "Rebecca I want to tell you that I'm really impressed and proud of you."
Rebecca turned and looked at her, making a strange face.
Mrs. Abbey stopped in front of Rebecca's house. "Wow I'm thirsty, can I come in for a glass of water."
"I can bring you, just wait here."
"It's no problem, Rebecca, I'm not in a hurry, I can park on the street."
"No, my mom might be sleeping now, don't want to disturb her."
"Ok, I don't want to cause any problems."
Rebecca got out of the car, and Mrs. Abbey drove off.
Rebecca watches Mrs Abbey go down the street and turn the corner. She opened the front door to her house, confronted by boxes and a heavy dust in the air. Fresh laundry detergent, video tapes, and pens lined the front hallway. Rebecca tiptoed down the hall and peered into her mother's bedroom. She saw her mother on the bed, fast asleep. Clothing and old newspapers littered the floor.
Reaching her room, Rebecca closed the door behind her. She poured out her backpack onto her bed. The watch tumbled out on top of the books. She grabbed the watch and held it up. She attempted to throw the watch away in her trash. Then she stepped back and reached into the trash to dig it up. She looked at the watch, dangling it in front of her face. She put it back on her wrist, shaking her head.
The next day in class, Monica looked over at Rebecca, squeezing her arm, just above the watch. The teacher finishes writing on the chalkboard. "Ok, why does Billy still bless the captain after her has sentenced him to be hanged?"
Rebecca sat upright.
"Monica?" asked the teacher.
Monica just shook her head.
Rebeca raised her arm.
"He believed that he had their best interests in mind."
"Ok that's a good direction."
At her locker, Rebecca looks down again at her watch. Monica taps her on the shoulder.
They sat at their usual table.
"Monica, I think I've realized something."
"About literature class?"
"No its just that all my attempts with the watch are really to keep my mother happy but this actually makes me miserable."
"So what you gonna do?"
Rebecca took off the watch she threw the watch to the big garbage at the end of the table.
When Rebecca came home, her mother focused on her arm, noticing the missing watch.
"Where's your watch, Rebecca?"
Rebecca looked down.
"Rebecca, where's your watch, where is it?"
"I threw it away."
"What? You did what?"
"Come on, it's just a stupid old watch."
"You have no idea, what you've done."
"It's just a watch."
"No, it's not. It's a protection. Rebecca you're not safe without your protection?"
"Protection, what are you talking about?"
"We're are hunted, there are creatures that will take us down in the middle of the night. You need to have your protection."
Rebecca looked up at her mother. A door slammed in a another room, and her mother turned suddenly.