The night was brisk and cool. The stars hung over us, watching, breathing, blinking. I was jogging to keep up with them; they were moving at an uncomfortable pace. My velcro sneakers stood out from their white boots, the latest fashion, bought in a haze of frenzied shopping. The sidewalk was too narrow. I was being pushed off the edge, forced to walk in the dog-crap-laden weeds. I attempted to step ahead of them, but Susy pushed me back with her newly tanned arm. I looked up at her and listened as she instructed me to walk behind Becca and her, her voice sticky with bubblegum, in the tone one uses when addressing a badly behaved dog. I gazed at Becca, who seemed to be purposely ignoring me. As I stared, memories slapped me, grazing my skin.
Lying in the soft
I took in Becca’s painted face, her plastic nails, her disgustingly fuzzy boots. Susy’s hazel eyes, streaked with triumph — mocking me, egging me on. Unwelcome tears drowned my face, and I tried to wipe them away with my sweatshirt sleeve. “You are alone in this world,” a voice echoed through me. “You lost them all.”