Why Children Run

She wanders into the chipper, checks the money she has in her hand, sly she counts it hopes it’s enough, a bag of chips, how much she inquires, I’ve enough, she then orders one, barely fifteen she’s been with friends, it’s late in the evening and she’s anxious about going home,

I told you she was no use she’s late again, her mother shakes the bottle, your turn to go to the off licence she grins, she throws the bottle after him as he goes out the door, don’t have a small one I’m here on my own, the chips are steaming, filled with the smell of vinegar and salt, she bites them with her teeth they are so hot, she won’t be going to the dance on Friday night, leave me, let me get through it she sighs, as a star flies across the sky, it wasn’t meant for her,

you don’t understand man I left my money at home, the bar tender remonstrates, goes over to the boss instead, Johnny smiles Ollie smiles back it’s fine he shouts, Johnny is soon on his way out, the chips are done by the time she reaches her street, tucked into her tummy she’s had enough to eat,

she freezes when she see’s him, her mother’s new boyfriend, the bag that he is carrying can be heard by everyone, where were you coming home at this hour, screams her mother from the top of her lungs, she sounds bronchitic and rough, Johnny gets in on the action

we were waiting hours, have you no respect for your mother, even yourself darling he swears, about to open a can you can hear it pop, she climbs the stairs quietly her feelings tight inside, one day she hopes with a prayer in her heart, one day and I wont have to hide. When children want to run, it’s usually for good reason, listen.

The phone is opened, she wants to find a friend.

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