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Red Ribbons

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In kindergarten Scott developed a crush on a little girl with bright brown eyes and red ribbons in her hair. She’s loud, and always moving, a batman band aid always covering some part of her skin. She wears cute little dresses and striped socks with lace at the tops. His favorite is the pink dress with the purple butterfly on the skirt. He never learns her name though, too shy to speak to her.

The teacher gives her weird looks too. Pulls her out of the room to yell at her in the hallway. Scott can never make sense of the words, but the little girl always comes back with tears on her cheeks and ribbons clutched tightly in her hands.

One day on his way to the bathroom Scott sees the teacher stop the little girl from entering the girl’s bathroom. The little girl yells until her face is red, and her little pink dress is stained with tears. The teacher pulls her away then, drags her to the office. Scott never sees the little girl again.

A week later a little boy appears in his class that acts just like the little girl. His head is shaved and he always seems sad. One day while outside at recesses the little boy with the shaved head pees on Scott’s sandcastle. Scott tries to be angry, tries to be upset, but all he can think about is how sad the little boy always looks in class. He asks the little boy to join him instead. The little boy seems uncertain, but joins anyway. He introduces himself as Stiles.

Scott can’t help but notice how similar Stiles is to the little girl. He has similar eyes and a batman band aid across his nose.

He doesn’t understand though why Stiles cries when he asks him if he has a sister.

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Scott forgets about the little girl until he’s in high school. He’s a werewolf now, and has experienced a lifetime worth of nightmares. Right now things are seemingly normal, and Stiles and he are working on a school project together. He’s digging through Stiles’s closet trying to find the stack of colored paper Stiles swears is in there from when they were kids when he finds an old pink box instead. It’s tucked in under the mounds of forgotten junk. When he opens it he finds an array of little girl things. There’s a cute pink dress folded nicely, and a tangle of red ribbon laid on top. There’s a picture too. It’s of Claudia with a little girl smiling wide in her arms.

The same little girl Scott remembers from kindergarten. The same little girl that disappeared right before Stiles showed up. Part of Scott tells him to put the box away and forget about it, but another part screams that it’s important. That he needs to talk to Stiles about it. That side of him wins.

He carries the box to where Stiles is sitting on his bed staring down at his econ book. Scott almost wants to throw the box away when he sees the look of fear on Stiles’s face when he finally notices Scott holding the box. Scott pushes through though. Sits close to his best friend and waits for Stiles to explain.

There’s a lot of crying that night. Mostly on Stiles’s part. Scott learns a lot of things he didn’t know about his friend. A lot of things he wishes he had known or noticed. He can fix it now though. He knows he can make this all right. He hugs Stiles close to him and promises to never let go.

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Scott’s in college now, well on his way to achieving his dream of being a vet. Right now his homework is finished, and he’s relaxing staring at the pretty girl laid out next to him. Her hair is long, and she’s wearing a short pink night gown that hugs her body just right. She’s got a batman ring on her ring finger and an old red ribbon tied around her wrist. Scott has a similar one tied around his own wrist.

She tugs the ring off and sets it next to her on the bedside table before turning the lamp off. Scott tugs her close after that, smiling and kissing the mole on her cheek. She giggles and snuggles up next to him.

“Goodnight Scotty, love you.”

“Goodnight Stiles.” He kisses her once more on the tip of her nose. “Love you too.”