Stuart’s Worst Mistake

Stuart found himself sitting in a small room at the Harrison Creek Treatment Center. He couldn’t believe that he waved the Tibetan flag during the Fourth of July parade two days earlier.

He frowned as he remembered declining the Reaves family’s invitation to go to the parade with them. If only he had said yes to that invitation instead of turning them down, he never would have gotten in trouble. Well, he couldn’t even do that; he had to prove that he was strong.

Just a few days ago, he was hanging out with Mara, Irene, and Pearl at the clubhouse down the lane. They were talking about the mystery surrounding the disappearance of their friend/ringleader, Tanya Shinnok. That mystery wasn’t solved yet, and no one saw Tanya since her disappearance.

Soon, talk turned to Stuart and his own bad behavior; the type of behavior that Tanya scolded him for when she disappeared. Stuart shook his head, knowing that something was going to happen.

“I’m not going to be watching the parade,” he snarled as he stared at the girls. “You can’t make me do anything!”

“We’re not making you do anything,” said Mara. “But I know who you are and I know what you’re planning to do.”

“You’re going to instigate a riot; I know you will,” said Irene.

“Flag,” said Pearl as she pointed to the Tibetan flag that was in Stuart’s left hand. For the past few months, Stuart carried a Tibetian flag in his bag, even at school. The other students laughed at him and teachers told him to put the flag away or else he would be in trouble. As usual, Stuart ignored his teachers and classmates.

Stuart said, “Why do we even bother celebrating America when they can’t reach out and help the Tibetan people? What do they have against Tibet, anyway?”

“I don’t want to sound mean, but you need to relax,” said Irene. “Stop being so antagonistic and think for once in your life. Do you think that you should be in Tibet right now with the troubles that it has? I think your parents would want you to enjoy being here in America instead of dodging the Chinese army at every waking moment.”

“At least I would be at home, instead of being looked down upon by every White person in this damn place,” Stuart snarled at her.

“Don’t wave the flag,” Pearl snapped as she gripped his hand. Stuart stared at her as she said, “You wave flag at parade, they lock you up.”

Stuart glared at Pearl before storming off. It didn’t matter if she was an alien or not; Pearl Tanner wasn’t going to tell him what to do.

Stuart shook his head at the memory of that day. He knew that whenever Pearl grabbed him or the girls, something bad was going to happen to them. Two days after the warning, he was seen waving the Tibetan flag during the parade. He was later taken away from his foster family by Child Protective Services and sent to rehab.

Stuart frowned, knowing that he never should have ignored Pearl’s warning. If he had listened to her instead of doing what he wanted to do, he wouldn’t be in this situation. He wouldn’t be locked away at the Harrison Creek Treatment Center. Now it was too late, for he would have to spend the rest of his summer in rehab.