The boy has black hair that’s clipped to be unkempt. From a mall bench, he eyes two girls, who wander past in the distraction of gossip and pre-ripped jeans. He wonders which he would prefer. But he stops himself, in curt distaste, when he sees them enter a store he would not go to himself.

Another girl closes a cash register and looks up at the boy from behind the canisters of mint chocolate chip and rocky road. But her hair is unkempt unintentionally, and her jeans are hand-me-downs from her sister. And she knows—smiling as she places her customer’s change on the alloyed counter—that she doesn’t have a chance.

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