Kelsie skips lunch.
She skips the coffee shop too and heads right to the playground, although there isn’t as much kids as before. Not 2 o clock yet, school is not over for them.
She hears someone sit right next to her. Hears crinkling.
-I-I brought you a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. They are-they are my favorite.
No. No. She will not take it. She will not. She crosses her arms tight and will not move.
She doesn’t eat peanut butter and jelly…
Her stomach growls. Roars. She sighs, blinks hard. She waits a long, long minute. She takes the sandwich.
Bites into it.
Here you go sweetie. This will make you feel better.
They are mean to me.
Don’t worry about them honey. Just eat your sandwich.
I don’t have friends no more.
Pause. Eyes closed. Still chewing. What is Cameron doing? He is still next to her, bodies not touching, saying nothing. She doesn't care. She sits and listens for hums for hours.
Next day. Kelsie considers avoiding the playground, just for a moment. But she goes.
Cameron carries his little sister, who is clutching tightly to his frayed t shirt. Kelsie watches as he says a little calming hum to her, and she relaxes.
He puts her down, makes her close her eyes, and places a peanut butter jelly sandwich in her outstretched hands. His sister squeals like her brother has given her a pony.
She throws her arms around his neck, then kisses him. Bouncing, she grabs the sandwich and runs off to the swings to eat.
Cameron wipes his eyes briefly, then smiles at Kelsie. She pretends to not see him and instead watches the little girl.
Cameron then watches her too, watches her, swinging and falling and squealing with laughter.
What happened to you Kelsie?
The girls. They pushed me.
Off the swing.
Oh sweetie, you are bleeding all over, sit still and I will fix it.
Cameron laughs. Kelsie whips her head and glares at him.
-Why are you...looking at my sister like that? Don't worry. She’s strong. She falls all the time...but-but she always gets back up.
He puts a sandwich in her hand. Kelsie didn't realize that her hand was open for it, waiting.