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Every night I plaster on a smile and politely do what I’m told for the customers at the diner. I’ve learned that customers always like a waitress with a smile even if it’s plastic. Sometimes I think I can do so much more than a diner, but then I remember this is all I know how to do. I’m just that teenage girl who lives with her single mom in the apartment complex. I clean the tables and serve other people’s food for six dollars an hour. That’s my life, as most people know it. As I look outside the diner’s window I spot Sean slumped over on a stranger’s doorstep. Dark circles line the bottoms of his eyes from a sleepless night of drinking. He curiously lifts his head and squints in my direction. I avoid his gaze and he returns the favor. I try to fight my memory as I feel the story of that night creep into my mind. I’m the victim of my own memory as the scene perpetually replays in my head. It was late at night when he knocked on my door and I uneasily let him. Without saying a word he lunged at me and pinned me to the couch. I wanted to scream but he muffled my face with his body. I remember his rolled eyes and his cold merciless grip. I can still smell his reeking sweating body, and the burning anger buried in his slurred and drunken voice. I felt his breath roll down my neck as he whispered, “Don’t you dare run away from me”. The memory of staring into his bloodshot eyes as he beat me mercilessly will never leave me alone. An hour later when he was finally satisfied he slurred together a goodbye, grunted, and drunkenly stumbled out of my apartment. I was left on the floor dazed, trembling, and bleeding. He would have killed me if I didn’t cooperate with him. It scares me that out of all the hours of my life all I can think of is that night. No matter how hard I try to fight it memory always defeats me. Ever since then I haven’t gone outside my house except to work. Everyday I plead for a miracle to change my life. I’ve tried. I’ve done nothing wrong. Where is the reward? As the memories slowly cease in my mind I don’t even notice my hand resting on the bump on my belly.



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