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A Short Story

Decent Essays
Nikki’s foot kicked the railing to the walk-in clinic. One hour of waiting for a spot and they still made her family from the north wait.
She looked over her shoulder to the second floor of the clinic. Inside, her mother and father stood in the waiting room with Sena sandwiched between them. She couldn’t see Sierra, probably coloring on the floor, but she saw Sena burying his head in their parent’s jackets, waiting to be called in.
Her father’s ears twitched and he waved down to Nikki, but someone inside called their name. He nodded to her and followed Isabel and their now twelve-year-old son into the doctor’s office.
Nikki stayed outside for the visit, staring at unbroken asphalt and flourishing trees between pristine benches and clean
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She had one no better and he would retaliate knowing she only wore what was closest to her bedside. But it would always lightened the crestfallen mood always lingering on Vanna’s shoulders.
“You’re late,” Nikki told him.
“I was working.”
“Working on that stove?”
“You’re lucky I’m even here,” he said. “The work my mom has me doing—”
“It’s a coffeehouse.”
“Of course it’s just a coffeehouse. Just belittle what I find challenging and make it about yourself. That’s all you can do.”
Nikki stuffed her hands into her oversized cardigan, letting her finger splint hang out. “I’m sorry.”
“Yeah, right…”
“Truly. I mean it.”
He rolled his eyes. “Whatever. Why’re you out here and not inside? Why aren’t you with Sena?”
“Probably for the same reason you’re not.”
“And probably because you’d go off on any Guard who looked at you funny.”
“No, I wouldn’t. Above, you’re so specist.”
“It’s not my fault. They’re like wolves, like the Líder.”
“So what about rats?” she asked, remembering what Maïmoú said a few days ago. “Do you agree with what everyone says about me, how I’m dirty and live on the streets and disappoint people?”
“Of course not.” He cast a yearning look at the hospital. “It’s not like I’m the only one who’s like this.”
She followed his eyes. “They’ll probably let your breed into the field one day.”
“Yeah, right. I don’t have a chance. I check here every month and they still shut me out. Even with my grades and our teacher’s
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