The Deal

I’m not sure what just happened last weekend. I told the police. I know they don’t believe me. I’m not sure if I believe me.

Cory (my fiance) and I are currently long distance due to work and family issues. My dad’s in a home for people with dementia and I’m the only one who can visit him weekly, while Cory is currently involved in a project at his work three states away. Our relationship lately has been nothing but Skype dates and texts. But for Valentine’s Day we wanted to do something special, so Cory haggled for the weekend free and I booked a decent hotel. Nothing five stars, but enough for us to get some nice time alone.

He showed up Friday and we took off. After we checked in, we had a nice romp in the sheets and watched awful horror movies from his laptop. Overall, pretty great.

It was around midnight when I woke up to someone pounding on the door.

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Do the Right Thing

We had a plan. Break in while the Parker couple were at their daughter’s violin recital, take whatever we can throw in the backseat, get the fuck out before they get back. But shit hit the fan, and I was now sitting in the corner of the living room wondering what the hell to do next.

“Oh my god, can someone shut the brat up!?” Justin snapped as he paced around the room, running his hand through his bleach destroyed hair. His ski mask was clutched tightly in his other hand as he gritted his teeth.

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Dig

It was an idea from a bunch of stupid ass kids.

Dig to the center of the earth.

Everyone’s done it, but usually within a day we all forget about it, leaving a hole maybe a feet deep, something that our parents would twist their ankles in and get mad at us for later.

Not us. Not the boys of Redwood Drive.

There was about twelve of us, ranging from age five to twelve, and we wanted to dig a hole so deep we’d fall into the center of the earth. I can’t remember why we decided to do it. I think Parker read ‘Journey To The Center Of The Earth’ one too many times, or maybe that summer was just that boring. Either way, it was in the woods in my backyard where we began ‘excavation’.

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The Dance

I knew I was lost.

It was a stupid challenge, I had to spend a whole weekend off in the forest with nothing but what I could pack in a backpack. No one could go with me. And my cellphone had to remain off the whole time. So no GPS.

Now I was planning on just going ‘screw it’ and turning on my phone to get the guys to take me home. Alexa was really worried about me being on my own out here, that anything can happen once I’m alone. I told her to relax. As a kid I did a ton of camping. I knew I wouldn’t do anything stupid like leaving food in my camp or getting distracted and walking off a cliff or something.

Didn’t matter now though… since I was lost.

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Problem Child

As a social worker, you’re bound to come across some really messed up stuff. I’ve been at this job for nearly twelve years and I’ve seen everything. Joel was raised in a kennel with a dog, he was so small I thought he was two years younger than he really was. Andrea went into a doctor’s appointment only for the doc to find out the kid had contracted chlamydia. Sophia who had been tied to a bed and beaten to ‘get the devils’ out of her. Fynn had been choked for enough time by his stepdad to have permanent brain damage. 

But all of those kids have homes now. They were adopted by loving families, I send them cards on their birthdays. Joel is now a complete Potterhead and went to Florida with his mom during summer vacation. Andrea now speaks regularly at sexual abuse seminars and helps other victims come forward about what they went through. Sophia wants to be an astronaut, Fynn is beating the odds and making us all proud with all he’s accomplishing.

I can’t say the same for Bonnie.  

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Nicky

It happened ten years ago. I was only eight years old. I woke up that morning to the smell of frying eggs and bacon.  

Stumbling down the hallway, I was greeted by the sight of a dark haired woman at the stove, humming some friendly tune as she filled a cup to the near brim with orange juice. She turned to me and I nearly jumped out of my skin. In a sense she was pretty, but she had a vicious scar running down the left side of her face.

“Andy! You’re up!” She beamed as she picked up the plate stacked with a delicious smelling breakfast. “I had to run to the store, but I hope you like breakfast!”

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The Cure

You could say that I had a rough life.

My mom died. My dad was alcoholic and whacked me around. The boyfriend I had in highschool promised me the moon until he got me pregnant. Then those promises were quickly forgotten. I had to drop out. Became a waitress. Waited tables all day to come home at night to a cold one bedroom apartment. It was just me and Jessie. Life was dull and gray. Any dates mysteriously became busy once they realized I had a kid. Bills piled up. Nothing felt good anymore.  

Then Paul came into my life.

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Cracked Eggs

“Daddy! Daddy look! I found another one!”

Lisa ran up to me, holding the white and pink printed egg. I laughed and held the basket forward. “Good job, pumpkin! That makes how many now?”

For a few seconds, Lisa counted up each one before she straightened herself and beamed.

“Six! I found six!”

“That’s right! That’s my smart girl!”

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