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Shattered Ties

By:K.A. Robinson



Every child puts his or her parents up on a pedestal. Parents could do no wrong, and their opinions were your opinions as well.

At the tender age of six, I felt the same way. My mother, the famous supermodel, Andria Bellokavich, was my idol. I wanted to wear her clothes, make my hair look the same as hers, and share her opinions with the world.

“I can’t believe they let that kind of riffraff in this park,” my mother said as she wrinkled her nose in distaste.

I followed her gaze to see a boy around my age and his mother playing by the sandbox. “What’s wrong with them, Mommy?”

“They’re low-class white trash, and I don’t see why they feel the need to invade our park.”

I stared at the boy. I saw nothing low-class about him, but what did I know? My mommy knew everything, and if she said they were icky, then they must be.

“Can we make them go away?” I asked, eager to please my mommy.

“I wish, but unfortunately, this is a public park, so there’s nothing I can do. I will say this—we will not be coming back here anytime soon.”

I loved this park, and it made me sad that we couldn’t come back. I instantly hated the boy and his mother for taking away my favorite place in the world.

“Can I go play on the slides?” I asked, not wanting to waste a minute of my time here since it would be my last.

“Of course, honey, but don’t go anywhere near them.” She sniffed as she pulled out her BlackBerry and started punching buttons.

I hated that thing. Mommy was always on it, and she never paid attention to me when she was. Daddy had one, too, but he always put it down if I wanted his attention. I didn’t mind Daddy’s so much.

“Thank you, Mommy!” I said as I leaped off the bench we were sitting on and ran for the slides.

I looked back once to see if Mommy was watching, so I could show her just how fast I could climb up the slide, but of course, she wasn’t looking. She still had that stupid thing glued to her hand.

I sighed in defeat and slowly climbed the ladder. I was so proud of myself when I made it to the top. Not every six-year-old could climb this high without being afraid, but I could. I’d been doing it forever or at least since I was five and Mommy had started to let me run around the park on my own. She always told me that I was a big girl now and that I could take care of myself while she worked.

I sat down and pushed myself down the slide, giggling when I got to the bottom as I felt the static in my pigtails. I loved the slide. It was my favorite part of the park—after the sandbox, of course. I glanced over at the sandbox to see that the boy and his mommy had moved on to the swings.

Now’s my chance! I jumped off the slide and ran as fast as I could to the sandbox. Once I made it there, I sat on the edge, so I wouldn’t make Mommy mad by getting sand all over my dress. I picked up the bucket and started filling it with sand to make my very own fairy princess castle. One day, when I was all grown-up like Mommy, I would find a prince who would build me my very own castle.

“Whatcha making?” an unfamiliar voice asked.

I looked up to see the boy from earlier standing above me. I wasn’t supposed to talk to him, but how could I not when he’d asked me a question?

“Making my princess castle,” I replied, hoping he would lose interest after the princess part and leave me alone. If Mommy saw us talking, she would be so mad at me.

“Can I help?” he asked as he sat down right in the middle of the sandbox.

I looked around, expecting his mommy to yell at him for getting his clothes dirty, but she was just watching us and smiling as she sat on one of the slides.

“I can do it on my own,” I replied shortly, hoping that he would take the hint and leave me alone.

“Don’t you want to play with me?” he asked, sounding hurt.

“I’m not supposed to play with you. My mommy said so.”

“Why not?”

“Because you don’t belong here, and you’re trash.”

His eyes widened at my words, and he frowned. “I am not trash!”

“Well, my mommy says you are, and she’s always right. She says you shouldn’t even be allowed to play here.”

“Well, your mommy is wrong. My mommy says that we are welcome here, just like everyone else.”

I shrugged. “I don’t care what your mommy says. My mommy is right, and you shouldn’t be here. Go away.”

Before he could respond, I heard my mommy calling my name.

“Emma Bellokavich Preston! Come here!”

I glared at the boy as I stood. “Now see what you’ve done? I’m in trouble all because of you!” I turned and ran back to my mommy. I felt a twinge of fear as I saw the angry sneer on her face.

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