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Savannah swung her backpack over her shoulder as she scrambled to pull on her converses. Black hairs, loose from her ponytail, hung in her face, blocking her vision. Her silver rimmed glasses slipped down her nose.

"Come on, come on," she muttered. Wiggling the black shoe, her foot slipped in. Savannah grinned. "There!" She stood straighter. Savannah headed towards the wooden double doors of the old stone building. Halfway out, a stern voice called her name. Freezing, she turned and grinned. In front of her stood her adoptive father with his hands on his hips. His greying hairs stuck up wildly in short spikes. He had yet to shave; whiskers covered his jaw. He rubbed his chin. Age wore down his features. Wrinkles creased his face. He grabbed the corner of his glasses, pulling them off. Allowing them to hang from the silver chain around his neck. Savannah tilted her head to the side. "Yes, Father?"

"Savannah Crossheart," he sighed, rubbing his eyes, "what are you wearing?"

Glancing down, she noted her tank-top, sweatshirt, and shorts. A rosary with a large iron cross and deep red beads was strung around her neck. Meekly, she looked back up. "Um...my rosary?"

"Those shorts are way too short for school!"

Savannah's gaze flickered to the clock. It was already eight o'clock. If she didn't leave now, she would be late again.

"You're overreacting." Savannah rolled her eyes. His rants could go on forever. "I got the church cleaning done, but I've got to jet before first period starts without me."

"But- "

Without waiting for him to finish, Savannah turned and rushed out the door. The June sun beat down on her as she ran down the church side-walk. Her feet pounded against the concrete as she skidded passed the iron gate of the Catholic church. From the inside, the building was nothing special. With its brick walls, red carpeting, and wooden pews, it was an ordinary church. But from the outside it was magnificent. A stone bell tower shot into the sky as stained glass windows decorated the walls. Ivy clung to the south wall, creeping its way upward. Most of it was hidden behind a large weeping willow. In the bell tower, a large copper-bronze bell sat worn from the lack of use. A crack ran up its side. The grounds were well kept by the church, though dandelions had started popping up. Most impressive was the large, iron-wrought fence encasing the hallowed grounds. It shot up six feet in the air and spiked at the tips.

Savannah didn't take the time to admire it. She lived behind it since middle-school. To get to school on time would be close. She jogged down the sidewalk. People blocked her path as they made their own way through town. With a smile and a wave, she slipped between and around them. She dipped between an elderly couple. As she turned to face forward, she tripped over her own feet. Before she crashed into the ground, two strong arms wrapped themselves around her. A gasp escaped from her as she choked back a startled scream. She glanced up. Her grey-blue eyes grew wide as a smile broke out across her face. Holding her against the warmth of his brown jacket was her old friend. His wavy, chestnut hair fell in front of his ashen face. Dull green eyes met hers. The bags under his eyes highlighted his sunken features.

"Jericho!" she exclaimed, jumping up.

He raised an eyebrow. "Savannah," He looked at his watch. "Aren't you supposed to be in school?"

"I know, but father had me doing the cleaning in the church and was making a big deal out of my clothes." Savannah shrugged. "Walk with me to school?"

"I have an appointment with Father Crossheart soon." Savannah stuck out her lower lip. Sighing, Jericho took her hand. "Let's get you to school."

Grudgingly, he allowed her to drag him along. They walked in silence, taking in the city. The aroma of coffee and car exhaust in the summer heat was refreshing to Savannah. Turning the corner, she could see the school only a block away.

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