two boys around the age of eight or nine ramble around the local Dollar Tree trying to decide what they want. they run down the candy aisle noisily, knocking over a shelf of Twizzlers, then throw them back haphazardly. people notice them, frown, annoyed that there are no parents governing their behavior.
the blond one, a cute little boy with an uncanny resemblance to the little boy from the Dennis the Menace movie and a highly decorated arm cast on, accidentally bumps into me while running away from the dark-haired one with freckles. they have picked up two or ten toy guns and are engaged in a high stakes battle, apparently, and don’t notice me standing there.
i move quickly out of the way. he says “oh sorry!” as he ambles past, followed by a loudly whispered “she’s hot!” to the other boy, who breaks out into hysterical laughter at the blond one’s not so discreet whisper.
i continue to shop, and about ten minutes later, i am in line behind the two boys, who have a handful of some kind of goo that sticks the the walls, random candy, and the toy guns they were playing with. i don’t notice at first, but when i hear them whispering, my attention is drawn to the black little girl about seven years old, who is in front of them checking out. she is on crutches, one leg completely immobile in a cast. the left side of her face has several bruises and scratches, as well as her right arm. she stands next to a girl who must be her older sister, about thirteen, who is telling her that she needs to put something back cause she can’t afford everything she wants. (more…)