The stench of motor oil and sweat lingered in the garage, nails and bolts were scattered about on the floor and in the middle of this junkyard was a stool. Short, old and a smudge of paint here and there, was where I worked.

I hunched over screwing this and that in, trying to make the poor thing work again. I suspected it needed a new engine, but if I were to judge, the customer would probably grab my guts out and strangle me.

"Gosh.." I sat up to take a sip of water and then hunched back over to resume working.

I ran this business, since I was 14, after dad died and mother was too depressed to get money herself. So, I'm here, working on old, rusty cars for money I can't even use.

"Ellie, toss me a wrench." I grabbed one and threw it to the direction of the voice and then again, resumed my program.

Tighten, turn, loosen, turn back.

Tighten, turn, loosen turn back.

No way would this be my normal afternoon if I had to.


I opened the newly bought glass door and wave.

Mother sat on the couch eating popcorn in her silk robe, watching Desperate Housewives on our ninety-eight inch H.D flat-screen T.V.

"That's great." Even through her heavily altered face, I could see her eyes roll.

"Yes, I know." I smiled.

I try to pretend it didn't hurt me.

"Where's Yvonne and Tatiana?"

"In their rooms."


I dart across the hallway and knock on their doors. Something is up if their not with Mother.

"Come in!" Yvonne squealed.

I look at both of them, dressed in brand new prom gowns, admiring themselves and smiling.

"How do I look?"


They both giggle and snort and it disgusts me.

"Where's my dress?"

"You're not going at all Ellie! Mother can only pay for us."

I feel little pools gather in my eyes and I run away to the attic. I lay face down on my bed and sob.

The only chance I could take to dance with him. Now, it's not even possible.

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