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My Friend

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It happened again.
Mamma’s words stung
like acid on a paper cut,
blaming me for something
I didn’t do.
I didn’t have the power or courage
to argue with her,
so I went to the one person
who I knew would listen—
Chikku.

Hugging him,
I curled up in a ball
on my flower print quilt.
Tears formed small streams
that ran the contour of my face
and dripped onto Chikku’s head.
Words that were held back
finally escaped
when I whispered them
into Chikku’s ears.

He was the only one
I trusted
with my words,
my secrets,
my life.
I didn’t have any friends
or older siblings to go to,
and even if I did,
they would never understand me
like Chikku does.
He never interrupted me.
He never questioned me.
He never judged me.
He just listened,
and that’s all I needed from him—
to be my friend,
to be there for me.





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