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“Where is your father?”

Out with his other woman.

“I don’t know…”

She makes me call her auntie when he takes me to visit her pink duplex on that half street no good girls know about. I know about it. I no longer am good. I fear ending up on a half street like Auntie ____.

She buys me a navy blue satin dress for my silence and buys my father a suitcase for what I can only guess and fear.

I think my mother knows. I can’t ask her.

Auntie ____ talks to me about things I don’t understand but I pretend I do.

Auntie _____ lets me put powder on my freckles and toilet water behind my ears.

My mother does not let me wear make up.

My mother does not let my father do what he wants either.

He leaves with Auntie _____ and the suitcase.

I rip each stitch holding the dress together with a box cutter my father left behind.

My mother takes away the box cutter.

She tries to hold me.

I turn away.

She leaves.

I hold the dark silkiness to my face staining it with missing my father.

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