Author's Notes: Thank you to Leila, who gave me the premise in her livejournal. The quote is hers.

I enjoy moonlit walks on the beach, reading long novels and recieving reviews. Just a point of interest.


Watches.

When she sleeps, she can hear them ticking. She guesses that would keep most people awake at night, listening to them, but she can't sleep without them. Those watches are more calming than any lullaby.

She wears three watches. She's got tiny wrists, you see, like her grandmother. And when she moves her arms, the three watches click together. When she writes, when she brushes her hair, when she eats, that is her theme song.

People seem to think wearing three watches means she's oh so punctual. But punctuality is an adult game she does not play. You see, none of her watches are exactly right. The first one was stepped on and is exactly three minutes slower for every twenty of the third watch. You're meant to disregard the middle one completely, and then you're only four minutes late.

She trudges into class late, slinging her bag to the floor. Her teacher rolls her eyes and muttering about girls who have so many watches they should be in class before the bell rings. The class laughs in a mean spirited way.

Her pen flies across the page and her best friend whispers, "what's irony?"

She pulls out a pocket watch and her best friend giggles and gets up to get a dictionary.

The first watch is fake gold chain links with roman numerals and a glass diamond in the middle. It scraped up on one side when she fell off her bike in the fourth grade. She bought it herself for seven ninety five, thank you come again.

Then there's the pink and purple Barbie one, high grade plastic. A present from her Nana before her Nana went to hell. Not heaven. Not heaven for the woman who made her mother cry and threw glasses at her head. She's got a scar over one eye from the crystal her mother got for her wedding.

Then there's the watch with the brown leather strap. The clock face is bigger than her wrist and the face has a long crack in it.

She didn't break that one. Her father threw it at the wall before he stormed out. Didn't come home again. He got in his car and drove off, his whiskey still in one hand. He drove, and he drove, and he drove off a cliff.

Her mother gave her father that watch. It says on the back '1984, Janine and Kurt'. She picked it off the floor and it had the crack in it and she put it on her wrist. And then her mother started yelling at her, because her father wasn't there. Her mother is yelling at the watch, really. The accusing eyes she looks at her mother with, because Daddy's not coming home. Nope, he's under a perfect six feet of dirt and six years of regret.

The watch is accusing her mother. That's why she wears it. It says everything she can't.

What's the problem with wearing three watches? The gold one reminds her of a different girl who tried to fit in. The Barbie one reminds her of what it's like to feel afraid, to feel angry at someone - to feel. The leather one reminds her of her mother screaming and the way plaster crumbles. And she can still smell the whiskey on the band…

The problem with wearing three watches?

They cover the bruises on her arms. That's a problem.

They let you know she not invisible. That's a problem.

They make her different. That's a problem.

But those aren't real problems. No. But the thing is, she hates the smell of whiskey and scratched metal reminds her of car wrecks.

It's just that the plastic pink and purple barbie watch isnt water resistant, and its her favourite.

She'll add a forth tomorrow. It'll be blue and yellow with a daisy on the face. It isn't hers. It will be her mother's.