SaD – Childhood Damage

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Today’s challenge focused on childhood damage. Since more of Ashley’s story unfolds later, thought I’d focus on his two best friends.

 

Damaged

Evan pulled the kid to her feet. “You do something stupid like that again, I might-.”

She put up her fists. “You might what?”

He doubted she weighed more than 100 pounds even while dripping wet. She may have been as small as his littlest brother, but her temper was that of his oldest sister (whenever he got caught raiding her bookshelf). “I might have to find a pool to throw you in and teach you to swim the hard way.” He threw his towel at her. “Chrissy, right?”

“Christine!” Her voice was muffled as she started to dry herself. “How do you know-?”

He tried not to laugh. “I hear your mom holler for you every night. The daylight doesn’t hurt your eyes, so why do you-?”

“Do you know how many things get lost in the dark? No one bothers you when you try to find them because they can’t see you.”

Evan knew exactly whom she was referring to – the Bully Biker Brothers. “So, you’re like the stealthy sleuth. Why not get a sidekick to help you search for the stolen stuff during the day? It would be easier, safer and-.”

“I can do it by myself!”

“I know you can. I’ve seen some of the other kids around here smile because of all the things you’ve returned to them. You’re good. I’m just saying, a sidekick, daytime – show the Bully Biker Brothers they’d better run.”

Christine held out the towel. “Mean it?”

He nodded. “I’ve seen them do some bad stuff, too. Except, I didn’t do anything, because I was small.” He held back the ‘like you,’ so as not to scare her off. “They tried to drown a kid in the river and I couldn’t swim. My mom – she raced out there like Wonder Woman and not only saved the kid, but she put them boys in their place.”

Christine’s eyes widened. “She sounds amazing! What happened next?”

“She taught me to swim. Every day at the pool and at the lake. My older brothers and sisters taught me to fight. What about you?”

“My brothers won’t teach me how and my sister ignores me. ‘Pristine Christine’ is what they call me all the time. I hate it!”

“Better than prissy or sissy Chrissy.”

She laughed. “You can call me Chris.”

He took the towel back at last. “Let’s try ‘Lil’ Sis,’ instead,” Evan replied. With that, he walked her home.

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