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Thedaysc ont i nue dont hi sway,wi l dandt i r i ng,butIt ookal i ki ngt ot he ki dsast i mewe nton.Il e ar ne dt he i rname s ,t he i rpe r s onal i t i e s .Be nt l e y, t heboywhoope ne dt hedoorf ormeont hef i r s tday,wasmyf avor i t e .He wasqui e t ,buti nat hought f ulway.Hes ome t i me sc amet os c hoolwi t hbi g br ui s e sonhi sar ms .If or me das pe c i albondwi t hhi m.Weunde r s t ood e ac hot he r .Hebe gant os pe ndr e c e s sandl unc hwi t hmei ns t e adofwi t h hi sc l as s mat e s .Al t houghIe nc our age dhi mt ot al kt ot heki dshi sage ,he r e t ur ne de ve r ydayt oours potout s i det hedoubl edoor st hatl e dbac kt o t hehal l way. Oneday,Be nt l e yar r i ve dl at et os c hoolwi t ha bl ac ke yeandas pl i tl i p.Ir anove rt ohi m and gavehi m ahug,andhewi nc e d,pul l i ngup hi ss hi r tt os how met hebr ui s e sunde r ne at h.I twasal lIc oul d dot onotbr i nghi m homewi t hmeandt akec ar eofhi m.He e xpl ai ne dt omet hathehadbe e nde f e ndi nghi sl i t t l e s i s t e r ,as i xye arol dgi r lwhowasme nt al l ys l ow, f r om hi sf at he randpai dt hepr i c ef ori t .I c oul dn’ ts t andt hei nj us t i c eofi tal l ,andmyhe ar tbr okef orhi m wi t ha pai nf uls ob.Thi si nnoc e ntl i t t l eboy,s os we e tands oge nt l e ,hadbe e n f or c e dt ogr ow upf art oof as tast her e s ul tofal i f ef i l l e dwi t hunde s e r ve d puni s hme ntandne gl e c t .Iwant e dt odos ome t hi ngf orhi m,butwhat c oul dIpos s i bl ydo?Cal lt hepol i c e ?Ha.Chi l dPr ot e c t i veSe r vi c e smi ght s how up,butt he nwhat ?Se par at ehi mf r om hi ss i s t e randt hr ow t he m i nt ot hef os t e rc ar es ys t e m?No.Thatwasmuc hwor s e .SoIde c i de dt he be s tt hi ngIc oul ddof orhi m wast os i mpl ybet he r e .Bet hes houl de rt o c r yon,t hear mst ohughi m wi t h,t hehandhec oul dhol d.Be nt l e yt ol d mee ve r yt hi ngi nt hebl untandbr ut al l yhone s twayt hatonl yc hi l dr e n know how t odo.Andhee xpe c t e dt hes amet hi ngf r om me .SoIt ol dhi m, s par i ngl y,abouthow mydadl e f twhe nIwast hr e eandmymom had t ake nt ot hebot t l ei nor de rt of or ge tt hewor l d.How,l i kehi m,Il e ar ne d t ot r e adl i ght l yar oundmypar e ntandr ai s emys e l f .Theonl yque s t i onI r e f us e dt oans we rwas“Audr e y,whydoyouwe ars omanybr ac e l e t s ? ” Noc hi l d,nomat t e rhow gr ownupont hei ns i de ,ne e de dt oknow t hat . Myf avor i t edaywas“Ar t s&Cr af t sDay”,aboutt wowe e ksbe f or et he e ndofmys e r vi c es e nt e nc e .Mr s .Dunl yf i nanc e dt hewhol et hi nghe r s e l f , wi t ht hes c hooll ac ki nganar tpr ogr am ande ve r yt hi ng.“I t ’ sadamn s hame , ”s het ol dmequi e t l y,s haki nghe rhe adi ndi s gus t ,“The s epoor c hi l dr e nde s e r ves omuc hmor e . ”Shehadmer unoneoft heac t i vi t i e sal l onmyown-as i mpl eac t i vi t yofc our s e ,maki ngbr ac e l e t soutofe l as t i c s t r i ngandbe ads .Ihe l pe dal lt heki dsme as ur et he i rwr i s t s ,c utt he s t r i ng,ands l i det hebe adsont hes t r i ng.The ywe r es opr oudoft he i r c r e at i ons .Whe nIwe ntt oc he c konBe nt l e y,t hough,hehi dhi sf r om me ands ai d,“I t ’ sas ur pr i s e . ”Ias s ume dhewasmaki ngi tf orhi ss i s t e rand want e dt oke e pi tas e c r e t ,e ve nf r om me .It ookapi c t ur eofal lofe ac hki d wi t ht he i rbr ac e l e tus i ngmyphone ,t he ns nuc kdownt ot heof f i c edur i ng l unc ht opr i ntt he m.It ol dMr s . Dunl ywhatIpl anne dt odowi t ht he m, ands hebe ame datme ,s ayi ng,“I ’ m pr oudofyou,youknow.You’ ve r e al l ygr own. ”Ihadt obl i nkbac kt e ar s .I twast hef i r s tt i meanyonehad t ol dmet hatt he ywe r epr oudofme . Whe nt heki dsr e t ur ne df r om l unc h,Ihande doutt he i rpi c t ur e se xc e pt f orBe nt l e y,whos t i l lr e f us e dt ol e tmes e ehi sbr ac e l e t .The nIhe l pe d t he mt omakef r ame sf ort hepi c t ur e -s que e zi nggl i t t e rgl ue ,pe e l i ng s t i c ke r s ,ands har pe ni ngc ol or e dpe nc i l s .Be nt l e ywass t i l lwor ki ngonhi s br ac e l e t ,andonl yt ookabr e akt oas kMr s .Dunl yhow t os pe l ls ome t hi ng t hatIc oul dn’ tqui t emakeout .Att hee ndoft heday,Mr s .Dunl yhadt he ki dsvot ef ort he i rf avor i t eac t i vi t y.I twasat i ebe t we e nt he br ac e l e t maki ngandt hef r ame de c or at i ng.Bot hmyac t i vi t i e s .Ihad ne ve rf e l ts opr oudofmys e l fi nmye nt i r el i f e .

AUDREY, WHYDO YOU WEAR SO MANY BRACELETS?


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