The Ugly Girl
It was about forty years ago.
She was the ugly girl - the scourge of junior high. Hatchet faced, zitty and snaggletoothed. Mercilessly teased, with names like skag, skank, witch. Dressed in her homemade clothes, with their irregular darts, she was hopeless.
One day she wasn't there. After school, back in the neighborhood, Johnny came riding up to the gang on his paper-route bike. "Hey did ya see this?" It was the ugly girl, on the front page of the paper.
There had been in a house fire. Her bedroom was in the attic, the stairs were filled with trash. Everybody got out but her. Later, stories circulated about her. An abusive father, a drunken mother. Nothing going for her. And no friends. I can't remember any of the "cool" kids from school very well, but I can remember her.
Jackie… I miss you, and I am sorry.