First Fight

It's no a secret that she is one of my favourites at the community centre. The motherless ones
always seem to find you, my boss said. Angie is almost eleven and the gap between the world as
it is and the world as it should be is as painful and fascinating to her as a newly skinned knee.  
I've worked here long enough to have seen that sudden sharp focus in a child's eyes before.
Someone, maybe God, has broken a promise to her but what if it was the kind of promise only
little kids believed, like Santa? She was still deciding.

The motherless ones always seem to find you. I think what my boss really means is that I find
them, and I think what she's really trying to say is, don't get too attached. She remembers
back when I first started working here and still dreamt of having children of my own.

I've known Angie since she was  in preschool. Now she's old enough to wear  a training bra and
a fresh bruise from her first fight.

What happened today Angie? Can we talk about it?

I'm walking her home to talk to her dad since his phone's  been cut off again. But she doesn't
want to tell me what the fight was about, or be reminded how long I've known her, that she
can tell me anything.

Who cares? I'm not a baby anymore.

Oh, Angie,  I say, what’s going to happen when you're a teenager?

Everything! she shouts, as she runs towards home
July 2013
As a child Sonja Larsen went to 11 different elementary schools
and lived in several communes and one cult. As an adult she has
worked as a telephone solicitor, bartender, freelance writer,
teacher, and youth worker in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.
She has a lot of stories. Her work has been published in various
literary magazines including Descant, Room, Scissors and
Spackle and Flash Forward Press.

Her website is