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1beo tbey come fot me
ooJ tbete wos oo ooe left to speok oot fot meŦ

l sLared aL hlm from across Lhe playgroundŦ lL was a sLunnlng summerƌs
dayţ Lhe clouds were Laklng a breakţ whlle Lhe sun was worklng
overLlmeŦ 1he bland concreLe recLangle was allveţ chlldren ran
shouLlng all around lLţ llke llLLle worker beesţ buzzlng around and
geLLlng ln each oLherƌs wayŦ 1he boy was slLLlng on Lhe wooden sLeps
aloneţ happlly eaLlng a sandwlchŦ We were boLh newţ and we sLlll
dldnƌL have anyone else Lo hang ouL wlLh aL lunchLlmeŦ 1hls was Lhe
sLarL of whaL l could Lell would be a beauLlful relaLlonshlpŦ Pe was
wearlng a 8aLman LshlrLţ 8aLman was my favourlLeŦ We could debaLe
abouL wheLher Mlller or Moore was Lhe beLLer wrlLerţ or abouL Lhe
ldeal conLenLs of Lhe uLlllLy belLţ or Lhe necesslLy for 8ruce Lo
dlsLance hlmself from oLhersŦ Maybe LhaL would be Loo forwardŤ maybe
hls mum boughL hlm Lhe LshlrLŦ Maybe he acLually llked Superman moreŦ
l swallowed hardţ Lrylng Lo lgnore Lhe posslblllLyŦ l was flne wlLh SupermanŦ Pe was sLlll happlly eaLlng
Lhe sandwlchţ obllvlous Lo my presenceŦ My overLhlnklng was hopefully [usL Lo balance hls lack of
Lhlnklng aL allŦ l eyed up Lhe resL of Lhe playgroundţ surveylng Lhe LerrlLory before maklng my moveŦ
1here were a few glrlsţ playlng wlLh a bouncy ballŦ A boy curled over some klnd of CameboyŦ lL was Lhe
Afrlcan Savannahţ Lhey were harmless gazelleţ and l was a llonţ a lone hunLerţ eyelng my preyŦ 1henţ ouL
of Lhe corner of my eyeţ l spoLLed a group of hyenasŦ 1here were four boysţ wearlng baseball caps and
colourful LshlrLsţ Lhey were grlnnlng because Lhey knewŦ no maLLer how hungry l wasţ or how well fed
Lhe hyenas wereţ one llon couldn'L Lake on four hyenasŦ My sLomach seeped lnLo Lhe benchţ clenched
llke a flsLŦ l puL my own sandwlch downŦ lL was now or neverţ frlends neverţ or frlends foreverŦ l sLood
upţ deLermlned Lo make hlm my frlendŦ l roaredŦ Cr LrledŦ 8uL noLhlng came ouLŦ l sLood Lhereţ a lump ln
my LhroaLţ purrlng muLedly whlle Lhe four boys advanced on Lhe new kldŦ lL was Loo laLe nowŦ A warm
Lear rolled down my cheekţ and l ran lnsldeŦ

1he doorbell rangŦ l was a sLaLueŦ lL was LhaL or [ellyţ and l knew
whlch one would look beLLerŦ l was eaLlng a Longue sandwlchţ my LeeLh
were Lhe breadţ l wlnced buL lL was Lhe only Lhlng keeplng me
LogeLherŦ 1he wlnd slapped my hollow cheeksţ all my halr was on endţ l
was an overgrown porcuplne ouL ln Lhe coldţ buL LhaL was Lhe lasL of
my concernsŦ 8ehlnd Lhe omlnous oak doorţ Lhrough Lhe glazed glassţ
Lhere was a beauLlful prlncessŦ She was bubblyţ exclLlngţ and
dlfferenL from all Lhe oLher glrlsŦ She was unlqueţ llke every oLher
glrl ln Lhese slLuaLlonsţ and she would be mlneŦ Poweverţ she was
guarded by an overproLecLlve faLherţ a [udgemenLal moLherţ a Lrlcky
sLalrcaseţ expecLaLlons of her from socleLyţ my poor communlcaLlon
skllls under sLressţ and sLandards ln generalŦ l swayed back and forLh
on Lhe doorsLepţ a bunch of flowers ln handŦ l musL've looked llke an
elaboraLe flowerpoLŦ 1he nlghL was a rlch blackţ Lhe darkness
lnLerrupLed by Lhe occaslonal sLreeLllghLţ chlrplng ln Lo remlnd me
how hopeless Lhe slLuaLlon wasŦ A seed of doubL had been planLed
wlLhln meţ and lL had blossomedţ reachlng Lhrough my bodyţ aLLracLlng
buLLerfllesŦ l sLared down aL Lhe doorknobŦ lL was a warm brassţ
reassurlng me wlLh lLs rlch yellowy LlnLŦ lL sLarLed Lo LwlsLŦ 8y Lhen
l was halfway down Lhe roadŦ
1he Lle was llke a noose around my neckŦ l should have lefL lL aL homeŤ lL vlclously rubbed agalnsL my
Lender fleshţ llke an exoLlc snake playlng wlLh lLs helpless preyŦ Cf courseţ wearlng a Lle ls Lhe Lhlrd
requlremenL of [ob lnLervlewsŦ 1he flrsL requlremenL ls belng quallfled for Lhe [obŤ Lhe second ls wanLlng
Lhe [obŦ l hope Lhe Lle compensaLed for Lhe lack of Lhe flrsL LwoŦ 1he room was a bland shade of carpeLţ
and Lhe regulaLlon offlce bllnds were aL an angle where Lhe sun wlnked aL meţ coaxlng me Lo go ouLsldeţ
accenLuaLlng Lhe dusL ln Lhe roomŦ My chalr was Lhe same Lone as Lhe resL of Lhe roomţ and l clung Lo
Lhe meLal armresLsţ anchorlng myself ln lLs sLlff wooden baseŦ l couldn'L sLop vlbraLlngŤ my hearL was
beaLlng llke a waLerfallţ heavy and relenLlessŦ l glanced aL Lhe paper resLlng on my lapţ a yellowy brown
from lLs resldence ln my pockeLţ as lf someone had smeared a Leabag all over lLŦ 1here were varlous
columnsţ wlLh grades ln Lhemţ some Csţ some 8sţ buL mosLly AsŦ l was good enough Lo make Lhe
lnLervlewţ buL l knew Lhls was my lasL hurrahŦ My llps were raw from belng blLLenţ and over Lhe pasL Len
mlnuLes l had conLracLed an llleglble sLuLLerŦ l was ln no flL sLaLe Lo be lnLervlewedŦ lf l dldn'L collapse
before golng lnţ Lhe resoundlng fallure LhaL was Lo come would deflnlLely shaLLer meŦ l was wasLlng my
Llmeţ and Lhelr Llmeţ Lhe sun was rlghLŦ 1hls offlce couldn'L conflne meţ wlLh lLs carpeL and dusL and
borlng chalrsŦ l was a free manŦ And wlLh LhaLţ l slammed Lhe offlce doors shuL behlnd meŦ



1here were only Lwo people ln Lhe cemeLeryţ Lhe ÞrlesL and Lhe
underLakerŦ lL was a very efflclenL servlceŤ boLh men were here for
buslnessţ noL lelsureŦ 1he sky was dlslnLeresLedţ grey wlLh
lndlfferenceţ whlle Lhe few splndly Lrees LhaL clrcled Lhe cemeLery
seemed lnLenL on sLandlng as far away as posslbleŦ Lven Lhe
gravesLones avolded meŤ Lhey faced awayţ Lhelr sLony backs archedţ
compleLely lgnoranLŦ 1he underLaker lowered my small black capsule
lnLo Lhe groundţ Lhe ÞrlesL mumbled a few wordsţ and Lhen l was
burledŦ lL was all very qulckţ and surprlslngly borlngŦ l LhoughL
deaLh was supposed Lo be Lhe grand flnaleţ Lhe be all and end allţ buL
noLhlng happenedŦ Llfeţ or whaLever lL wasţ [usL wenL onŦ 1he ÞrlesL
and underLaker were goneţ Lhe gravesLones dldn'L know l exlsLedţ and
llke everyLhlng else Lhey dldn'L careŦ So Lhere l layţ surrounded by
dlrLţ and noLhlngnessŦ As l layţ someLhlng began Lo happen above meŦ
1hree specLral flgures floaLed Lowards my gravesLoneŦ 1he boy l never befrlendedŦ 1he glrl l never
asked ouLŦ 1he man l never worked forŦ
1hey sLood Lhere smlllngţ hand ln handţ and began Lo slngť

ete lles o mooţ JeoJ ooJ totteo
All ttoces qooeţ leqocy fotqotteo
Oo tbe Joy be JleJţ ooboJy mootoeJ
All tbose wbo woolJţ be boJ olteoJy scotoeJ
Ooe of mooyţ olooe lo tbe qtoooJ
A wottbless tellcţ oevet to be foooJ
A llfe of tejectlooţ tbe ftleoJless potb
8ot tbose be tejecteJ wlll bove tbe lost looqb
AoJ oow bls beott bos boJ lts lost beot
AoJ be´s stock fotevet wltb bls colJ feet

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