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What was Real
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The first time Jimmy realized that he was his very own self was when he was five and his parents had gotten the daycare pickup day mixed up. It was four o’clock and he’d been out on the porch with Miss June and all the other kids, watching all the parents park their cars, and run up the stairs to get their kids and ask Miss June “how did it go today?” It was raining but the porch was covered, and they were just waiting in the damp. Miss June looked at her watch and made a phone call. Two phone calls. Who are you when you are five and your parents forget you and you’re getting wet from the rain? He had his raincoat and his binky and his Jedi Knight backpack, but no one was coming to get him, and all the other kids had gone home, and now he had two homes, two bedrooms, two tricycles, and two sets of Legos, but no one was coming to get him to take him to either place. It was just him and the rain. He saw cars driving up and down the street. He saw raindrops bouncing falling from tree branches and puddles forming on the sidewalk. He heard the hiss of the tires as the cars drove by. There was a bus revving up in the distance. He noticed the grey sky. This is where he was, he was here. There was no place else to go. He wanted to cry, but he’d never cried alone before, and he didn’t really know how to do it. He looked over at Miss June and she was looking at her watch.

“Jimmy,” she said, “why don’t we wait inside where it’s dry.” She took his hand. He would have liked a hug, but she did not hug him.

“Miss June,” he said, as they stood up, “my name is Jim.”

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