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Duff, Victoria, and my Dad.
I can hear my heart beat in my ears and I am surprised no one else can hear it, too. I let my dark golden hair, that hung in uneven curls, fall over my shoulder and block my face from everyone around me. The subway speeds along in the dark and I wish I was not here, on the subway. I wish I was above world, not underworld. The thought made me shiver, despite the almost unbearable heat shooting out of the heaters above my head and beneath my feet. The subway is nearly empty except for a business woman who looks like she’s trying to convince herself she’s not really on the subway and a man with a long gray scraggly beard. He has a hat on, one with flaps to hang over his ears. His brown patchy coat hangs on him like it was a cloak. He was asleep, as far as I knew. I turned to look out the window, but I met a wall of black so I turned to look in from of me.
“Where ya goin’?” A gruffy voice asked me from across the aisle. I turned to look at the scruffy man.
“My dad’s house. He’s waiting for me at the subway station.” I gave him a grim smile. He scooted to edge of his seat and stuck a gloved hand, his fingers exposed.
“My name is Duff,” he said as I shook his hand.
“Jillian, call me Jill,” I smiled at him again. I guess I was in a lonely mood, and talking to Duff seemed to help. I didn’t like my dad to much, he lived across the city from all my friends, in the nicer apartments.
“Well, Jill. You don’t seem to excited to being going with your father,” Duff leaned back against his seat, but still faced me.
“I’m not really,” I admitted, I wasn’t going to fake it to Duff. He would be my one friend I wouldn’t lie to, wouldn’t try to act cool for.
“My father was not a very nice man,” Duff said, grinning at me. One of his front teeth was missing.
“I’m sorry,” I said, glancing up at the business woman.
“That’s Carry Anne,” Duff followed my gaze and whispered in a hoarse voice to me. “She’s not happy about riding the subway, thinks she’s above that, but obviously not.” I laughed at what Duff said, but stopped when Carry Anne whipped her head around to look at us. She looked older than I took her for, but maybe the stress of taking the subway was really bothering her.
“She has an attitude, so watch your self, missy,” Duff whispered to me. I laughed quietly again. Suddenly, the squealing of the brakes made me jump.
“This your stop?” Duff asked glancing out the window at the half crowded station.
“Yeah, I’ll see you ‘round, Duff,” I waved bye to him and stood up.
“Bye, Jillian, I mean Jill,” Duff waved back and I hopped off the train. I noticed my dad standing a little ways away, suit and tie on, looking like he just came from work. On his arm was a blond girl with her hair and make up perfect. She was dressed a little more casually, but I could tell she was all for expensive things.
“Hi, Jill,” my dad stepped away from the woman and pulled me into a bear hug. I hugged back, a little. “This is Victoria,” my dad stepped away from me and gestured to the beautiful woman.
“Hello, Jillian,” she greeted me coldly with a accent I couldn’t place. I just waved my hand at her a little.
My dad led me and Victoria out to a taxi waiting for us. He sat up front, much to Victoria’s surprise. She sat as far from me as possible in the back, and I didn’t really care.
“So, Victoria, do you mind if I call you Vikki?” I asked casually.
“No, my name is Victoria, that’s what you’ll call me,” she looked me up and down, a stern look on her face.
“Ok, Vikki,” I said turning to look out the window. She made a angry sound in her throat then leaned forward towards my father.
“Jeremy, darling, how long is you rug-rat staying with us?” She asked in an innocent voice, trying to sound cute. Maybe she was Russian.
“I don’t how long she wants, I guess,” he smiled at her and then leaned back to kiss her forehead. She sat back in her seat, arms crossed, pouting.
“You insolent, little, brat,” she muttered at me, but I ignored her.
“Dad, am I still going to my old school?” I asked him as the taxi did a sharp turn flinging Victoria around, I held on.
“How would you get there?” He asked trying to turn and look at me.
“The subways right next to my school, lots of kids ride it.” I told him. Actually it was about a black away, but a lot of kids from my school did ride it.
“I guess, but you have be safe.” He said looking at me in the rearview mirror.
“I will,” I promised. I’ll see Duff everyday now. I assume he practically lives on the subway.