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A Fair Guardian

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I have clung to Jamie from their first cry until this day.

A dark, ominous day.

Jamie overslept this afternoon, and that was fine. I had time to caress their child, still in the belly of the one who shares our bed. Will my child be there too? I didn't know, and I won’t until the first cry. Our wait won’t be long now...

That horrible Hawaiian shirt had been tossed over Jamie’s back in a hurry, while I did my best to keep out of the way. The white trousers had still had a bit of dust on the rear, but I’d swept them tenderly before reaching the restaurant. Jamie put me in a ponytail, and we started our shift at the Still Surf.

We’ve always drawn attention: we are beautiful together. People always praise how shiny and fair I am, and wonder why Jamie never has a bad hair day. They will never, never have one so long as I cling to their scalp.

I’m not bad hair.

I have been naughty sometimes: I have convinced them to let me grow.

Jamie needed me long to help them, how else could I’ve slapped those ill-intentioned hands that tried to snap Jamie’s bra straps in those days when they wore a bra? How else could I have defended Jamie when work ended past midnight? Fair is fair, I must endure the indignity of a rubber band when Jamie goes to the gym and during their work shifts, but that’s the price of independence, and I gladly pay it.

Nothing forebode a bad day.

Still Surf’s patrons had made their orders with the usual mistakes, and Jamie had borne it all with a wide, understanding smile. I caught a falling drink from Jamie’s tray, but nobody noticed. Jamie exchanged some jokes with co-workers in the quick-paced way they all share their humor. The light from the kitchen signalled they needed runners at the usual speed.

Then, the lights went out.

A blackout is nothing to be scared of. Jamie froze by the order station, waiting for the emergency lights to light up. Still Surf’s management knew business operations couldn’t proceed in the dark.

Jamie waited, without a worry in the world.

If Jamie could have seen what I saw, their attitude would have been different.

As I coiled myself, I’d waited for his grabby hands to dart for me. Men of his sort abound and I have seen their kind before, when Jamie was little. Bullies grow up too, and they never learn to respect personal space.

As I strangled the life out of this rude man, I blessed the fact that Jamie can’t feel me when I choose to act. No one on the staff could hear the desperate gurgling sounds of the man (no one among the Still Surf personnel can hear at all), while the patrons were too busy wondering what could have caused the blackout.

Jamie waited, oblivious in their silent world.

I took good care not to leave any strand behind. We must be there when Jamie’s child lets out their first cry.