Short Story Contest
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by Karishma Oza

In the year 1962, there was a girl named Faith Walker. Faith lived in a small apartment in Richmond, Virginia. Faith was an African-American girl in the sixth grade. Faith loved her family, especially her mother. Faith had two younger brothers, and one younger sister. Their names were Johnathan, Thomas and Shania. Faith was the eldest. Her father Jacob died two years after Thomas (Tom) was born. He got shot by two white men because he was black.
"Wake up Faith? You got school today," yelled mama. "One more minute ma, ZZZZZZ." "No honey ya don't want to be late to school now do ya?" "I don't care if I'm late or not!" said Faith. "Quit foolin' around Faith get up right now!" Finally Faith got up. While eating breakfast Faith said, "Mama I don't want to go on the bus with the white kids, they tease me." "Honey you're just going to have to be strong and have faith in yourself. Just don't pay any attention to them all right?" "Have a good day at school! Bye". Faith got on the bus and sat next to her best friend Janet Jackson. Jane was also an African American. Everyone on the bus started teasing Faith and Janet. "Blackies aren't allowed on this bus," said one boy, "I hate going on this dumb bus 'cause Negroes go on this bus," said James Cooper. Janet had a bad temper and couldn't stand white folks. Janet got so upset at times that this time she stood up and she slapped him straight across the face. Then James said, "That hurt! I'm tellin' Mrs. Johnson!" Janet realized she had slapped the wrong person. Of all the people in the world Janet had slapped the mayor's son. She knew she was in trouble.
The bus reached school at 8 a.m. All the children poured out of the bus except for Faith and Janet. They were the last ones out of the bus. When they reached the classroom, everyone had already sat down. Faith and Janet sat down. Then James raised his hand and said, "Mrs. Johnson, Janet slapped me!" Mrs.Johnson turned toward Janet and said, "Did you slap James?" "Yes ma'am I did." "Why?" "Because he called me and Faith names! He said 'I hate going on this dumb bus because Negroes go on this bus!' James was laughing at us because we are black."
Mrs. Johnson said, "James say you are sorry right now!" "I'll never say sorry to any Negro as long as I live!! I am going to tell my Pa! Good day!" With that James left the school.
"Janet don't worry everything will be all right just give him time he'll cool down," said Mrs.Johnson. But to Faith and Janet things got worse. First Janet's mom got fired so Janet had to stop going to school. She would have to work all day at James' uncle's restaurant. They made her work very hard because of what she had done to James. Every day Faith would bring food for Janet's family. The other bad thing that happened was that James' father, Timothy Carter, told Janet's mother they would have to move to Maryland because they weren't paying their taxes. Faith cried all night. She wondered why she had to be black and why people in this world were so cruel and why people couldn't live peacefully.
The days went on without Janet. Faith got used to the taunting and teasing. School was so boring for Faith without Janet. But school went on. One astonishing day, James Carter showed up in the doorway and said, "Sorry Janet." "You are too late, James! Janet has moved to Maryland because of your father," said Mrs. Johnson. "Mrs. Johnson I want to learn." So James Carter was back in school. He had changed a lot since he had left school; he became a lot more friendly now him and Faith were really good friends, in the mornings on the bus no one was teasing her anymore.
One afternoon, the kids were doing their math assignment when Timothy Carter came in and said, "Someone is here to see you Faith, the kids were all wondering who it was and then Janet Jackson stepped in the classroom. Faith was so happy she ran over to Janet and started crying. They hugged each other so tightly and everyone started laughing for joy. Then James came up to Janet and said, "I'm sorry for callin you names," then Janet said, "I'm real sorry for slappin' you. Friends?" "Friends."

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