• Val Abbene

Shopping for Relatives

The bell over the entrance of the second-hand store chimed halfheartedly as a crouched man scuffed his boots across the linoleum floor. As always, he navigated to the stacks of old photographs in the back and scoured them with purpose. The photos were faded by years of exposure to sunlight from where they once were proudly displayed on someone's windowsill. He rescued a water-stained photo of grinning college boys boasting letterman jackets and tossed pocket change on the counter. He would frame it at home and arrange it among his collection of strangers who he renamed the family he lacked.


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