Karma

Lena saw the old man come out of the 24-hour convenience store, and then she jumped him. She quickly wrestled him into the nearest alleyway, robbed him of all his money, and ran off without a backward glance. First she stopped by the 24-hour grocery store up the street from her house. Then she went home and fed her two little brothers, Reese and Eddy. She fed them the food she’d picked up, read them a short bedtime story, and then shut the bedroom door on her mother, who was passed out with a syringe in her arm. Finally, she started doing her math homework until she passed out too. Curiously, she was in such a hurry to leave the old man that she didn’t realize that the only picture she carried in her back pocket had fell through one of the holes in her baggy sweats. It reminded her of happier times, before her mom had relapsed again and their life had gone to shit. A pocket-sized photo of her from the 8th grade read on the back, “Congrats on Graduating! Love Mommy.” It was dated 5/2009. The old man picked up the photo, but couldn’t see in the dimly lit alleyway. After he got settled into his lonely townhouse and took some Tylenol for the pain, he picked up the photo again. This time, he gasped in shock. The young girl resembled something of a carbon copy of his daughter, Lisa, at about the age of 12.

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