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"Going Home" by Anisa M.S. and Naya

two girls holding hands
Art by Naya

Stacy was walking home. Anxious to finish her homework so she could finally relax. Tests had been stressing her out so it was nice for them to finally be over.

A shout was heard from somewhere nearby. It sounded like a girl's voice, a scared and shaky one.

“What was that?” she thought, getting worried more with every passing moment. She turned the corner of the street she was in and peered into the next street.

A girl from her grade, not someone Stacy would normally talk to, was standing there with tears rolling down her cheeks. A few feet away from her were 4 people that Stacy knew to be mean and violent at times. They were yelling something at the girl, (who at this time Stacy had remembered that her name was Josie something-or-the-other) and it was obviously upsetting her a great deal.

Stacy didn't want to get involved. She was the typical shy type and confrontation was not one of her strong points. Plus it wasn't any of her business, right?

She continued walking home and locked herself in her room because Mom and Dad weren’t home yet. Though she was reading her favorite book and eating chips, Josie’s terrified and anguished face would not get out of her mind. One hour later, she heard the front door open, and she knew those were her parents. She thought she heard them whispering to each other and then her mother called her “Yes?” she answered. “Can you come down here for a minute?” Stacy hesitated for a minute. Mom didn’t sound very happy.

She came down and her mother was leaning against the kitchen wall with her arms crossed.

“Stacy, did you happen to see a girl on your way home, being attacked by a group of kids?” Stacy’s stomach sank.

“Yes.” she said slowly.

Mom's eyes widened and she opened her mouth to say something, but closed it right after. Instead it was her dad who spoke up. "Stacy, what were you thinking?? You saw her being mistreated and you just watched?? This is disappointing. I thought we taught you to help everyone!" he said, half shouting.

Stacy didn't know how to respond. She never did when these kinds of conversations came up. So she said nothing, and waited for someone else to continue.

This time it was her mom who spoke, she had a worried look in her eyes and talked slower than usual. "Stacy, when you get to school tomorrow, I want you to follow her home and make sure this doesn't happen again. Do you understand?"

Stacy nodded.


The next day rolled around and Stacy found herself worrying about how she would follow Josie home without looking suspicious. She thought of many ways but none of them seemed like it would work. Until she came up with one idea that would kill like 3948390248 birds with one stone. She could befriend her! Most of Stacy's friends were a few grades above her so they never would be in her class or lunch breaks. Plus, she would gain a friend this way. The only problem was that Stacy already had an entire squad she hung out with every day, so it would be hard to get her alone. 'Whatever, I'll cross that bridge when I get there.' she thought, as she walked out of the school and onto the curb

Josie seemed to be kind of nervous while walking, she wouldn’t stop looking behind her and flinching if she heard a noise. ‘I wonder what’s troubling her’ thought Stacy, and then she saw them. Some kids were talking on the other side of the road but then stopped when they saw Josie. Stacy's eyes grew wider. They were those that were bullying her yesterday. One girl got up and whispered something to her other friend, that smirked. Josie noticed and started walking faster, hoping that they won’t bother her this time.

“Hey, Josie! Didn’t we tell you to not come over here again?!” said one of the boys. One of the girls looked at her hair in disgust and grabbed one of her braids. “What is this? You call these braids?” Josie looked down, trying to ignore the rude comments they were saying.

Stacy had enough. She marched up to them and went in front of Josie so the kids wouldn’t touch her. “Leave her alone. What has she ever done to you?” she said.

“Back off if you don’t wanna get hurt, girlie.”

Stacy scowled “No, I will not back off until you leave her alone. Don’t you see that you’re hurting her feelings? She just wants to get home safely but now you’re just bothering her for no reason!” she grabbed Josie’s hand “Come on, Josie. Let’s go. I’ll accompany you home.”

They walked until Josie stopped and tilted her head to one of the houses, trying not to meet Stacy’s eyes. When they got to the doorstep, Josie let go of Stacy and walked towards the door, with her back turned to her. Stacy turned around and was about to leave when she heard a small voice behind her.


She turned around and saw Josie giving her a shy smile.

Stacy smiled back.


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