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*If you wish to re-print or quote from sections of the monologue, please credit author Alissa Bennett.
*And if you wish to re-print the full monologue you must receive permission from author Alissa Bennett.


Third grade, on the bus going to the West Brampton Historical museum, and I watch out the window as what's familiar starts to flash by, fade. Mrs. Pearson's classroom becomes a dead space in my memory once we're over that bridge and all I feel is just the darkness of the water, filled with the reflection of the bus and a grey lighthouse that Chris Cortland says his Dad bought for a dollar last year. I listen to the sound of the apple from the lunch my Mom made me rolling out of its paper bag, up and down the isle, back to me and away.

The bus stops at the end of a long road covered by tree branches, the sun makin glittle patterns on the windows when it falls through the leaves, and leaving the bus, I realize how much different it smells here, how it smalls different from anything I've ever known in my whole life.

I find myself in the crowd, workbook and crayons shoved in the pockets of my jacket, and the trees, dense and green above us as we walk toawrds the musuem. Start to worry about math again but I can shut it off because I'm here now, and I know that I'm lucky, that Mrs. Pearson's class gets to go on more field trips than anyone.

We run towards the door, towards the suit of armor that guards it, and when I look up, I can finally see the sky, watch when a cloud in the shape of a sailboat rolls out from behind the roof and floats through space about me like the sky and the ocean might as well be the same place, feel Kelly Monroe's hand pulling on my arm when we get close to the entrance. Mrs. Pearson, smiling, holding the door and her eyes telling me that today it's okay to forget about my homework. Turn around once more to watch the sailboat melt and reappear as a mouse on stilts, and for a second I know that everything's ganna be fine, I know I'm gonna be OK cause I'm watching it happen, I mean, I just feel that all of my problems are getting so far away.

Excerpt from And Distance Shifts a novel by Alissa Bennett