They Call me Regina – Chapter 1


They call me Regina. I am named for my mother’s favorite aunt Regina Frances Clemente. No, I am not Puerto Rican… I don’t even think my Mother’s Aunt was either. I think maybe we are Italian… I don’t know… I have never heard of an Italian red head before. So I don’t really think about where my mother’s family came from too much anyway. I just inherited the name because I have the same heaping mound of unruly curly red hair just like Aunt Regina had… So, my mom says.
I live right here in Sussex County, NJ in a little town named, Frankford Township. There is only one school in Frankford Township; it has two different buildings, one for the upper grades. This is where I got to start going to this year. The other building is for the primary grades. My sister Patina still has goes to the primary side. She says she is very jealous of me.
I supposed you’re wondering where my Dad is in all of this. I never knew my dad. Mom says he was a war hero, but I know that is a lie. I found a letter between my mom and my dad and he was telling her that he had found a new life in another town in the next county over. I will never get over how brave my mom has always seemed. I have never asked her about this and I know if I did she would tell me something to keep from hurting my feelings. I could care less; I would not want to share my mom anyway. I think one day she will tell me in her own way, what really happened.
I don’t think the upper school is all it is cracked up to be though. The girls all seem fake in this year, it’s like between last year and this year they all lost their minds. Last year I could count on Stacy to want to ride around on our bikes and investigate things with me. But this year all she is interested in is bubblegum lip gloss and Johnny Fielder. I swear Johnny Fielder is the most disgusting creature I have ever known. He has picked on me and my sister since I was in the 1st grade. He gave me a nick name in 2nd grade that used to make me cry. He calls me “Lucy-locks Regina” after Lucille Ball for my unruly red hair. At first I hated this and would run home and my mother would sooth me with a homemade strawberry shake with real strawberries in it. Now I just think he is a disgusting pest and I cannot believe that Stacy has gone goo-goo eyes for him… I thought she was made of more than that.
Last year while Stacy and I were investigating stuff, we came across some footprints that lead away from the Conner’s Barn Fire. We told Officer Lewis and he hurried over to look at them. I won a medal for that one. I don’t know why the city gave me a medal anyway. It was sure sad to know that John Conner was behind his own barn fire.
I guess the only neat thing about the Upper school is that I am the residing student editor of the Frankfordian, the student newspaper. My English teacher is really tickled with me; she says I am a prodigy, whatever that really means. I know that I am the youngest student editor that Frankford Township School has ever seen. Last year they sent some young journalist over from the New Jersey Herald when I took the New Jersey state test for fourth grade. He interviewed me for a news story about the state test… My scores for literature were the highest in the state for my age and higher than most kids 2 years older than me. That is when my teacher suggested that I enter a story into the statewide writing content. I wrote a story about a dog named Trixie. She is one eyed and deaf and lays in the middle of the road to slow drivers down. Next thing I know and, I was winning a medal and I think a scholarship. My story even got published in the New Jersey Herald. That is how got to be on the Newspaper. I will tell you later how I became the editor.

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