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Back in the kitchen I hear

a muffled,frantic apology coming from over in the restaurant.

Feet tumble over themselves to get back into the kitchen

feet that are connected to a fiery, angry face





“How many times have I told you Georgette?!”


growls Manager ,” wash the dishes until they are spotless!”


How many times has he told me?


Six, seven, or eight.


Probably nine.


I wonder.


He's finally realized its a waste of his time






Mr .Manager shoves the plate up to my eyeballs


holding it up for me to see


and there is a ring of crust


a ring of crusted up scrambled eggs around the otherwise flawless plate


“I must've missed a spot” I mumble


to the checkered kitchen tile.


He sighs and pats a grease covered hand on my back.


“this ain't for you Georgie,” he says. “You were meant for better things.”
2


His face isn't red anymore,and he says this right before he fires me.






I get outta there


and when I find the left tire of my bike is dead flat,


I call Ducky.


He pulls up to the back of the resturaunt

and immediedly sees what happen written all over my face

He sees it in my worn out-used to it all-eyes


Ducky opens the passenger seat and looks a bit sorry for me


I dont like that


so I grant him a smile,and stick my head out the window to check the window.




“Lets go to the beach.”


He nods.


It wont be dark for a while.




I go to that place where I always sit



where we always sit,


and I lay down my beach towel


the one with little ducks on it that made ducky laugh so hard milk squirted out his nose


and so thats why I call him Ducky




This is the perfect place


if I face away from the ocean

the water rises just above my toes

3



Ducky has gone to revive the flat tire of my bike


which was long overdue


“your so lazy, Georgie” he teased me, plucking me in the forehead



he was trying to make me laugh , mayby



but nothing makes me laugh anymore.






Not even Ducky.





After what seems like a very short while,


he's back with me on the blanket

my eyes are closed now,and I let him play with my hair


He lifts it up and twists it back and forth and over



I pretend to be asleep.



Hair tangling becomes tickling

and a smile escapes that wasn't meant to


then a giggle

“Stop it ducky,”i want to say,”i don't wanna laugh”



but the giggling overlaps my words





And I turn over to face them and there are tears in my eyes


and I yell “Stop!”

the echo hangs in the salty air for a moment


when I realize It isnt ducky I yelled at at all




4


Its a little girl,whos chocolate brown eyes stare right into me.



whose sandy curls blow around her face in the wind.


whose mouth quivers because shes just been screamed at.

Who was only trying to play with me.






She curls up into a ball and cries because I yelled at her

I hold her and cry because of so many things



but mostly because I made her cry.





I hold her to keep her shakes in



and we bear hug






I cant remember the last time I bear hugged a stranger


I cant remember the last time I normal hugged anyone but Ducky,


who I sometimes wont even hug because it hurts too much


everything hurts now




I cant remember the last time anyone in my family hugged me.


Or even the last time anyone in my family dialed my number


or answered my calls


told me they loved me.



And so many things start flashing through my mind as im holding this little girl




as if she brings all the pain back up at once......

5













I don't think I'm smart












I don't think I'm beautiful













I don't think I'm worth it











Ducky thinks I'm everything























Ducky thinks I'm wonderful























Ducky knows he needs me











Parents say im too,too young



stupid ,



impulsive,



throwing our lives away,









never last,













not real love















you will never be happy.


















Why are you doing this,you'll regret it


























so disappointing and-
















No.










Ducky respects them






















I say I love him





















we cant run a way tho





















we also cant stay tho




























6














pack into his white jeep

























the weddings fast and it has to be cheap














move into a townhouse










is this what you wanted now










did you get what you wanted now?









Ducky has an okay job






doesn't pay enough each month








always check the Sunday paper












90 days 12 hours later










fired from 15 restaurants









never lasting even a month











living on a skinny paycheck










love is good but doesn't pay rent










missing sister,brothers parents...


























But they're wrong ,















i don't regret it

















* *
*
The little girl left a while ago


her family was frantic


they had been ,”looking all over gods creation for her”,

is what I think they said.


7





Ducky comes back and the sky is black


I'm asleep so he tosses me over his back





“Dont be upset,”she sniffled in my ear before she left my arms,

“Ducky loves you. And besides,”maybe she whispered it, maybe she didn't. But I could have sworn













I heard her say,














“You were meant for better things.”











***** { Fin. }*****



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