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Home at last. Fifteen dollars, four apples. When I wash my face, I sing it like always: “Cinderelly, Cinderelly, gotta help our Cinderelly.” That’s the best part of the movie. Not the dancing at the ball, not kissing the prince. The part with everyone—the little creatures of the night and the bluebirds—helping her get dressed. She’s so beautiful afterward. I watched it every day when I was little until the tape broke. Then, I’d act it out instead. That was before everything happened. I wasn’t allowed to sing it, wasn’t allowed to watch it. But now, here? They understand. I finish getting ready for bed. There are six people in the blankets on the floor. Brothers and sisters, new ones. At midnight, Kris whispers happy birthday old man. Seventeen now. 

I love Kris, but he doesn’t know it, or he says he doesn’t know it, but I think he does, because he told Sheila once that he wished I was hotter, which I do too, but Shelia told me that she told Kris that I was perfectly beautiful, that the rule is that we all are perfectly beautiful, and Shelia told me this and I looked at her beard and shaky arms and I had to remind myself that she was perfectly beautiful too, but anyway, Kris said he thought I was beautiful but I know he likes Alan because they always sleep on the same part of the floor and I lie there awake at night and wish it were me.

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