He got a name that made sounds like gargling marbles in the back of my throat. Can’t pronounce it, so I call him Kun and try not to get pissed when he can’t roll the r in my name. Ramon, Ramon; out of Kun’s mouth, my name fell flat, lying in puddles near his feet.

Ma wasn’t in, didn’t expect her to be since it was only little after 3 and Ma’s shift don’t end till 5, that’s how sad her story is. Made sure Ollie was asleep, for the last week or so, she had trouble sleeping and the little shit don’t even tell me nomore where she going, or why. We don’t got much, me, Ma, Ollie and Lucia and it hurt me something bad to see Ollie sleeping on the floor of the closet, not even a blanket round her. She slept wearing Lucia’s old sweaters, piled on top of the other but Ollie don’t got Lucia’s body yet so the sweaters swelled out front. She wore so many that her back was hunched up and her body an inch off the ground. The only thing between her little girl body and the old piss-stained mattress was layers and layers of old wool, unraveling with loose thread or eaten by moths.

Kun placed a hand like ice gainst my neck and said all soft like, She real cute. And when I turned to look at him, the gold in his eyes wasn’t even looking at me but where Ollie slept, a princess on a dirty ass floor.

There isn’t much place to be cute round here, but Ollie managed to find a way that didn’t catch the attention of all the old cocks in the barrio. The apartment building little more than sad stories placed on top another but least there are some families here, with mamas who don’t want their kid raped or fucked with. So even if there are some perverts in and out of the rooms, at least the mamas say something and push the girls out of there right quick. So Ollie lucky cause she grew up here where being cute didn’t mean she had to learn how much everything hurts.

It gonna get morning soon. Kun’s hand never drifted far from my neck, he glided me away from the closet while Ollie slept her deep sleep and I started shaking something real bad, and Kun said, you okay, fuckface?

Goddamn cold here. My words don’t stutter like Kun’s and my hair was nappy at the ends but that look between us, shit you not, that look was exactly the same.

At the kitchen table, Lucia left behind a bowl of Apple Jacks that Kun and I ate with our fingers, pushing past the heavy film on top of the milk. We bag the smoke into Ziploc bags, snack sized for easy sorting, and we rolled joints as we went. Out in the tiny living room, the sofa was still piled high with mine and Lucia’s dirty clothes, meaning that my sister was out for the night and the kitchen was quiet and nothing moved but Kun’s hands sealing Ziploc bags, right down the line, one two three.