She was having a hard time fitting in again. I knew she was sad, but there wasn’t anything I could do. She just up and left. For fifty days? What was she doing all that time?

I watched her at the kitchen table. She always looked so angry. I mean, we are all angry, but most of us try to make the best of it. This girl, she just ran away to solve her problems, and when that didn’t work she would come back. Fifty days was the longest she was gone. I heard some of the other girls asking where she had been. She made up stories, I am sure. She told me that she had been with a traveling circus. But she came back all bruised up, so I am sure she is with that guy again. He always beats her and she comes back. I never understood why she would keep running away to be with him when she does get beaten here.

“It’s just so boring here, Rin. You wouldn’t understand.” Her name was Mei, but she liked people to call her Crystal. I don’t know why she did that either. Her name was pretty. Why change it to something so stupid?

“Whatever, what’s your name.” I would say. I wasn’t going to call her Crystal. No, that was stupid. I don’t get it. She has it good here. And she is pretty. Why pretend to be someone you’re not? Why pretend to go places you don’t go? If getting beaten is more exciting than being safe in this home, why come back after so long?

No, she just sat there sulking at the table, telling everyone different stories about where she had been. We all knew the truth.

We are all the same.

-Jess Gatsby