Jamie's first class after home room was his favorite. Picture frames adorned the side walls of the room. Portraits of famous authors from the past - Jane Austin, Louisa May Alcott, Mark Twain, Charles Dickens, and F. Scott Fitzgerald - alternated with elementary school primers from the 1700s.
Audrey Parker had been teaching English at Chapanoke High School for five years. She finally had her room set up just the way she liked it. Several treasured personal volumes, early editions she'd picked up at out-of-the-way bookstores in obscure locations, filled the top shelf of the bookcase that sat behind her desk. Prominently displayed in the center was a fine copy of Oliver Twist.
'Please, sir, I want some more.'
Jamie walked in the classroom and sat at his desk.
Jamie was Audrey's favorite student. He was a sweet kid with tons of potential, and although he was very smart something seemed to be holding him back. He did well on grammar and sentence structure exercises, but whenever an assignment called for the student to express himself through creative writing, Jamie froze up. He gave Miss Parker this excuse or that excuse for why the assignment wasn't completed, but she knew there was something deeper going on. She was not oblivious to Jamie's recurring absences, or the facial scars and bruises that always accompanied his return to school.
[Audrey Parker, Jamie's English teacher, and objective of Daniel O'Shea's affection, unbeknownst to her]