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Kaleia Hills


I stay awake and wait for you like a dog outside your door on the mat— waiting to be let in, like a cat scratching at the door. But I am not a dog or a cat; I am your abandoned, little girl.

My deep blue eyes look through the keyhole. I have rung the doorbell five times.

My soggy teddy bear slumps in my red wagon as I watch the lights go out in the living room. I am a bold five-year-old.  My nanny taught me not to cry, even if things got to the worst.

It was drizzling. My jumper, one-size too big, hangs down over my left shoulder.  My kite lay on the ground next to me.  My animals were going to get ruined.

I picked up my kite and pulled my wagon to my parents’ bedroom window. It was closed.  I could still see them, awake.  It made me angry.  I wanted to break the window, but I didn’t.  I stood there and watched.

I pulled my wagon back through the gravel. I left my kite by the window.  I left it there in case my parents looked out the window, they would know I was out there.  Then they would come and take me inside.

I rang the bell one last time. No one noticed except for Emmi, the cat.  She scratched at the door to be let out.  I walked away with a pang in my stomach.  How could they forget?  I was too big to be forgotten.  My mother could forget her keys, but she couldn’t forget her only daughter.

I rubbed my eyes. I was tired.  I pulled my wagon under a tree.  I chucked my doll and clown out onto the wet grass.  I left my dogs and my big teddy in.  I snuggled up with them.

It would be hard to go to sleep in the rain, but I was going to try.


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