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I remember back when I was a child, my father told me nothing.
The words didn’t exist, homeless, not existing.
I continued on his legacy, but not by choice.
I would wait for the right time to speak,
quickly realizing there is never a right time to speak.
You open your mouth,
up and down,
up and down,
exposing your teeth.
A voice that is not your own repeating,
“there is more to be.”
Something was breaking. Luckily for me, it wasn’t anything emotional. The breaking was occurring somewhere near my rib cage. My only friend was in the middle of ending our friendship with his foot. I was on the ground, trying my best to maintain this fetal position. All of his new friends surrounding us, screaming for my ex-friend to kick me harder, kick me more. His name is Donny and Donny is rich. His father had won the lottery. Instant millionaires. I guess according to Donny’s father, they were better than everyone else. Supposedly Donny wasn’t allowed to be my friend anymore. I didn’t understand it, and I wasn’t given much time to really process the information before Donny’s fist ran into my face. My name is Doug and I’m poor. I’m the one who has the dirt being kicked up in his face, the owner of the rib that was getting closer, with each kick, to breaking. And then… Nothing. Once his foot had connected to my ribs for that 72nd time silence decided to take over. Darkness arrived and I was nothing for a little while.
1, 2, 3 hours later? Here I am in the same spot from before, minus those screaming kids and all of the pain. Donny is gone and the sun isn’t too far behind. 6:32 P.M. was the time according my watch, and that meant I was over three hours late. My mom should be worried sick. Choosing to ignore the pain, I pick myself up off the ground, dust the dirt off of my clothes, and as much as my body would allow me, I run home.
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