CHARITY GIRL • by Charlie Britten

I see your brown eyes as I try to read my emails. You sit there on the right-hand pane, amongst the adverts for holidays and face cream.

Sponsor a child.

Stop staring, you little pickle. Yes, I realise you’re doing it for charity but I’m not stupid. I know how donations fall into the wrong hands. Or are consumed in ‘administration’.

Can’t you stop that banner moving across your face? I’m not the maternal sort. If you must know, I can’t. No. I don’t want to talk about it. I’m a career woman. I’m not spending my hard-earned cash on you.

So, run along. I’m going on Facebook. You won’t be there; you’re not one of my ‘Friends’.

It’s no good. I can’t get your tiny pixie features out of my mind. It’s your deep brown eyes. You are beautiful, although I suppose that was the reason they picked your photo, not that of some snivelling brat.

I check my emails again. You’re still there. Of course. Now you say you’ve been raped.

Me too. I was fifteen. He threw himself on top of me. Moaning and grunting, he knocked the breath from my lungs and crushed my spine against the hard floor. He forced my legs apart and sliced me open. I could never bring myself to do it again.


Here I am once more, my little darling. I bought a copy of The Big Issue on the way to work, from a woman with your brown eyes. Now I don’t know what to do with it. Would it be okay to chuck it into the bin?

I threw a £2 coin into a busker’s guitar case. She looked like you too.

I wish I could’ve been there when it happened to you. I would’ve held you in my arms, pressed your fragile body against mine until you cried yourself to sleep. I’m clicking on the ‘donate’ button now.

Charlie Britten writes in Suffolk, UK.

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