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I've been missing Kaye a lot lately. Little Tess is her spitting image. Well, she doesn't actually look much like her - Tess has wild brown hair and blue eyes and the biggest damn dimples I've ever seen. But there's this way what she smiles with all of her teeth that's just like what Kaye did when we were little and she was about to get me in trouble.
It's her spirit, too. She's a little troublemaker. Plays pranks on all the other kids, and she doesn't mope like the others. She's always climbing trees and playing in the mud. Getting scraped up. I'm not sure she gets it. She keeps talking like her parents are alive, like they're coming to get her any day.
Kaye was like that. Eternal optimist. Never making plans because everything would work out, everything would be okay. Frustrating as hell, especially to mom. I can't tell if that's what Tess is doing, or if she really does think her parents are coming to get her.
Mostly the others are just sad. They're too afraid to ask me what happened, I can tell. Mandy tries her best to keep their spirits up, but she's got this shadow behind her eyes and I think they see it, too.
She didn't want me to stay.
Said they were fine without me, told me I was trouble. I get where she's coming from, but I admit it was hard to hear. Didn't ever think I'd get accused of something like that. But then Jerome reminded her of their situation. He's the next oldest at eleven. Real practical little kid. So he talked her around and now I sleep by the mouth of the biggest cave.
You know, it's a good thing I brought all my stuff. Of course, I barely use any of it. Twins took my sleeping bag and most of my clothes were divided out since they have no blankets. All I have left really is a bundled up t-shirt for a pillow.
How quiet it is out here, it's easy to forget what's still happening back home. Wonder if Mr. Johnson's still checking the mail. Wonder if you're still...
Better check on Little Tess. She has a hard time sleeping.
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