Young Ava Wolfe got her act together when she was just 14. She set out leaving her parents home somewhere in the suburbs and headed out on the highway with just a shoulder bag and an idea. What that idea was she never said. It wasn’t much of a highway, not a super highway, just a county road actually but the locals called it a highway.
Ava knew that there were super highways out there. She heard about them, saw them in books she said. It wasn’t an easy life for Ava. For 14 years she was known as Lisa’s sister, and Ava was itchy to get out of the shadow of her little sister. That stuck in her craw.
The shadow of a younger sister was humiliating. An older sister or brother, Ava could easily understand being in their shadow. But a younger sister, who’s only claim to fame was winning six spelling bees in a row was too much.
Still Ava put on her brave face and looked east. She knew there was something out there for her, and that it was only a matter of time until she found out what it was. Until then she still had school, and she kicked a can while walking alongside the shoulder of the highway.
Not too many cars out so early in the morning and the sun was just rising. She disliked going to school in the darkness. Not that she was scared. Nothing really scared Ava. She missed the sun, the warmth and the light.
She side stepped a dead possum which might not have been dead she thought as she gingerly approached it. She thought the possum was playing possum, but when she saw a pool of blood and a distended tongue hanging out of it’s pointy face she figured that it was dead.
The school wasn’t too far away and she wished she had the courage to cut school for the day, like she had heard that some kids do. She knew that wouldn’t be that good an idea though. Too many people would notice her absence. So Ava dutifully stepped over the barrier separating the highway from the woods and walked the well trod path towards her school.
The sun was starting to give off light as she accidentally walked into a spider web. Ava made a noise of disgust and tried to rub off whatever was left of the web on her clothes. Ava saw her favorite teacher’s car in the driveway.
Mr. Davis. She liked him a lot, but didn’t know what to do about it. She heard that he might be gay but that didn’t matter. She did notice he didn’t wear a wedding ring though which gave her hope. Ava wasn’t like those other girls writing over and over Mr & Mrs So and So hundreds of times in their notebooks.
No, Ava had it running endlessly in her mind that someday Mr. Davis would pick her for some extra credit and would declare to her when they were all alone that she was the woman for him. Ava even went so far in her fantasy to have Mr. Davis declare that he was gay, but suddenly had special feelings for her, which he never felt for a woman before.
As Ava crossed the parking lot, she felt something hit her back. She turned around to see the dead possum she passed by earlier on the pavement. In the distance she heard laughing. It sounded like Martin, her sister Lisa’s friend.
She hated Martin. She saw him wiping his hands on his jean jacket, wiping the blood of the possum on it. Turning back around she saw Mr. Davis turning away from the window in the faculty lounge. She hoped he didn’t see what Martin had done, but felt he probably had.
And so began another day in Young Ava Wolfe’s life.