Ana, 14, Donee

It was dark and damp and deathly cold.

Ana wound a strand of hair around her finger. If she closed her eyes it was almost like she was back in her room, braiding Fatima’s hair. Fatima’s hair was nicer than hers. Softer. Braiding her hair was like twisting strands of silk together. Ana smiled. The memory felt safe and familiar.

Nothing felt safe in S.C. It did feel familiar though. Ana released her hair, letting it spiral and bounce back into its usual tight ringlet. She wasn’t sure why she had been sent to solitary confinement. She never understood why she was sent there, but she had a feeling that this time, she was in big trouble.

She didn’t mean to be bad. She just didn’t understand what she was doing wrong. Before she met Fatima she used always get into trouble. She still got into trouble, sure, but generally Fatima was there to tell her how to act, how to be, how to look. Ana wasn’t any good at that stuff. She was only good at braiding hair.


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