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They never noticed.

Kelsey was nothing more than a speck of dust floating around in the air, noncommittal, small, and fragile. She was inhaled through and exhaled out without a single sound or act of recognition.
Every day was a race. She would grab her bag in the morning and walk to school, head down. She would tighten her hoodie strings so no one would notice her thin, angular body as it streaked rapidly down the school hallways. And it worked well. They didn’t notice her. She kept her wide blue eyes pasted on her wooden desk all through class and prayed that the teachers wouldn’t pick on her to speak. She rarely used that rusty voice of hers. It had been so long that she had spoken more than five words in succession that even she forgot the sharp details of her own voice. Come lunch, she would crouch in a dark corner of a school wall, halfway camouflaged by the pulsating shadows of the day. Her eyes would stare widely at a fixed point in the distance as she chewed her sandwich and wrinkled her decrepit, torn brown lunch bag.

They never saw.

Every day, she silently crept up to the recycle bins after school and one by one, removed every single bit of food and plastic that didn’t belong in the blue box, her delicate brow creased in concentration. In the morning, Kelsey took out her lunchbox and dumped the delicious morsels of food her mother packed into her hand, leaving only a decrepit, torn brown lunch bag and a slightly mushed sandwich. She then crept around the dark alleys near her house, placing tidbits of the tasty food near snoring homeless men dressed in dirt clad garb. Head down, she would hurry on to her school. They never saw how bright her eyes would grow as she stood silently by the music room after school, her ears drinking in the sweet sound of the band as they practiced for an upcoming concert. Her body swayed like a dancing ribbon… A frail, thin, faded ribbon.

They never thought.

A resilient dark cloud hovered over the girl. It bent her back forward and curled her tiny shoulders inward. Her face remained emotionless and passive around people. She yearned for the courage to speak out, to greet people with a brilliant smile, but it never came. Sometimes she glanced around at people, waiting for them to acknowledge her in one way or another. A word. A smile. A glance…

But it never came.

So the day when the newspaper blared out the mysterious death of a girl named Kelsey Keebler, no one paid much attention. Death came often and a small, thin girl’s death didn’t have a resounding impact. They buzzed about Kelsey for several days, and rapidly moved on. Kelsey’s death faded into the background, blending in with the shadows she so often hid in.

They never cared.

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