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The Girl at the Door

“…should just ignore it for now?” his voice is hushed, but the girl could still hear it, ear pressed against the crack of the door. She dared not breathe.



“maybe that’s best,” agreed his wife. The girl at the door bit down in her lip, and pressed her ear completely flat against the peeling paint. Her breathing seemed like a giant gush of wind in the still worried silence of the cold hall.





“I wish I could rewrite history,” he was saying.



“We all do, Joel. Believe me.” the sentence was accompanied with a weary, heavy sigh. The girl could not feel her bare toes anymore. Her nose, she was sure, was bright red. If she squinted, she could see a very faint cloud, expelled from her lungs. She rubbed her cracked hands together, but it only made them raw. A droplet dripped silently to the floor, the frigid air causing the girl’s eyes to water.



“What are we going to do with her? She can’t stay. She’s just not comfortable here.” The girl squeezed her eyes tight, and bit her tongue. No emotion would be pulled from her, no sobs from her lungs, no salt water from her tear ducts. She trembled slightly from the effort.



“Just the other day, she was nowhere to be found all day!” there was another sigh, “she said she was busy listening to Mrs. Macy and Mr. Codfish.”



“Exactly. She puts Georgia off. We’re the laughing stock of Whelock!”



“I know.” There was a slight creak from out the door.



“Georgia? Is that you?”



“It’s nothing, dear, just the wind. God knows the shutters bang something awful even at the best times.”



“mmm. Did you see the announcement in the paper this morning…” the girl lay in bed, staring out at the cloudy night sky. Her feet were no warmer after a quarter of an hour. She doubted whether they would ever be warm again.



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