a nineteen year-old boy chased a twelve year-old girl upstairs to her apartment and beats her before the morning school bus arrives. despite her bloody nose, she boards the bus anyway, more afraid of the mother that didn’t let her in, than the angry boy that sat behind her with a pair of scissors threatening to cut her hair.

that boy did cut her hair and she will never forget the laughter of the children sitting behind and in front, nor will she ever forget the bus driver’s decision not to intercede.

she believed silence was preservation, and that mummified injuries meant she was royalty.

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