During late November the mountains have an isolated, scenic atmosphere. I can hear the trees rustling in the fleeting wind and the occasional breathing of tired joggers. I walk along a trail. Red and orange crunch underneath my feet, some louder than others, as if to cry out for travellers to notice its presence. My hands are freezing and soon my toes will become numb. Further down the trail are footprints embedded into the soft soil by hooves and sneakers. My spine curves under the weight of school supplies. I ignore the warnings of venturing off trail. I don’t plan on returning. I make a sharp right, right up a hill. I get down on my fours and push against gravity, nature, and God’s will to prevent me from reaching the top. I toss my bag up first then plant myself next to it. My palms are stained by the North American earth, my left sock has teared from a snagging root, and my school uniform will not make my mother happy. Ahead of me are countless skeletons, triangular roofs, concrete snakes, and brown fields shrunken by my dirt throne. The Sun sinks from the heavens to meet the Earth. A cloudless sky clashes against the flare of a dipping Sun; a duel between fire and ice. My parents have answered the call from school. I know what is waiting for me outside of Mt. Garret. I examine my bruised, discolored knuckles. You should learn to handle yourself. I finger around my stretched shirt collar. You shouldn’t allow others to influence you. I press against the unruly shape of my hair. You have to think more clearly, Ronnie. I know they have given me enough speeches and punishments for me to know what is right from wrong. They cannot afford to cover for my mistakes forever so, I'll remain here where I can live among the trees and animals. I will hibernate until another life begins again. But in the distance, a chipmunk dashes through the dead leaves. It has to return home soon, too.