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She was fifteen and she had a quick nervous giggling habit of craning her neck to glance into mirrors or checking other peoples faces to make sure her own was all right Her mother who noticed everything and knew everything and who hadnt much reason any longer to look at her own face always scolded Connie about it Stop gawking at yourself Who are you You think youre so pretty she would say Connie would raise her eyebrows at these familiar old complaints and look right through her mother into a shadowy vision of herself as she was right at that moment she knew she was pretty and that was everything Her mother had been pretty once too if you could believe those old snapshots in the album but now her looks were gone and that was why she was always after Connie Why dont you keep your room clean like your sister Howve you got your hair fixedwhat the hell stinks Hair spray You dont see your sister using that junk Her sister June was twenty-four and still lived at home She was a secretary in the high school Connie attended and if that wasnt bad enoughwith her in the same buildingshe was so plain and chunky and steady that Connie had to hear her praised all the time by her mother and her mothers sisters June did this June did that she saved money and helped clean the house and cooked and Connie couldnt do a thing her mind was all filled with trashy daydreams Their father was away at work most of the time and when he came home he wanted supper and he read the newspaper at supper and after supper he went to bed He didnt bother talking much to them but around his bent head Connies mother kept picking at her until Connie wished her mother was dead and she herself was dead and it was all
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