The name of the town is Cumberland, Maryland. It lies in a valley on the Potomac River. The day is December 12, 2001. The time is the beginning of the day.
The alarm clock rings, I hit the snooze button three times. My mom comes in screaming "it's that time again"ÃÂÃÂ¦ get up!"ÃÂÃÂ ÃÂÃ ÃÂÃ ÃÂÃ ÃÂÃ ÃÂÃ ÃÂÃ ÃÂÃ ÃÂÃ I roll out of bed, tripping over everything possible. I trip over my schoolbooks as I wipe the "sleepies"ÃÂÃÂ out of my eyes. The clock says 7:20 a.m. In my head, I think, "ahhh! I'm going to be late for school!"ÃÂÃÂ I rush around the house trying to get ready in such a short amount of time. All I can think is "ugh, another day at the Fort."ÃÂÃÂ My main concern is having enough time to walk across the street to school. I wait for my notoriously popular neighbor to make her journey across the street as if she's walking on a red carpet.
Needless to say, we do not get along. Then, when all view of her is lost, it is time for my departure. As I walk outside, I am overwhelmed by the cool mountain breeze wiping across my face. I look up the street, then down only to see all the neighbors sitting on their porches, snooping around for some fresh new gossip. It could be twenty degrees below freezing and it would not keep them fenced indoors. I see my neighbor, Charlie walking his tiny dog Smokey up the street and I just cannot resist, I have to pet him. Everyone knows Charlie from his coaching days at Fort Hill. Football is huge in my town, so everyone knows who he is. Three elementary school teachers from South Penn also reside on my street. They walk out to their cars every morning almost simultaneously, cup of coffee in one hand, bags full of books in the other. It's obvious how enthused they are to be on their way to work again. I try to be cheerful and say hello, even though I'm too tired to speak. As I wave to the peanut gallery of Avondale Avenue, they watch every step I take like evil little vultures. Then, I wait for what seems like an eternity to cross the street. Sometimes it amazes me that other students arrive at school as late as I do. I walk across, dodging my peers speeding by in their cars. Trust me, this little walk is not easy because my muscles are still aching and sore from just waking up. When I reach the door to Fort Hill, I open it, just as the late bell, or as they call it, the tone, sounds. The halls are bare. My heart thumps as I race to Mrs. O'Rourke's classroom before the morning announcements come on. A typical morning in my life, in my town has