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    那些特殊的孩子,那些脖子上套着钥匙的孩子,他们在餐厅吃饭。餐厅!<span class="" data-note="原文是teen,来自法文的英文单词,小孩听来可能觉得洋气。"></span>名字听起来就不一样。那些孩子在午餐时间去那里,因为他们的妈妈不在家,或者家太远了不好回。bbr></abbr>

    我的家不远,也不近。有一天我不知怎么想起来要妈妈帮我做一个三明治,并写上一张纸条给校长,那样我就也可以在餐厅吃饭了。

    哦,不,她用切黄油的小刀指着我,好像我正在挑起事端一样。不行,长官。你知道接下来的事情就是每个人都会想带盒饭——我夜里就得忙着把面包切成三角丁,这个抹上蛋黄酱,那个撒上胡椒,我的不要泡菜,每面都要胡椒末。你们这些孩子就喜欢给我找事儿。

    可蕾妮说她从不想在学校吃,因为她喜欢和她最要好的朋友一起回家,格洛莉亚住在校园对面。格洛莉亚的妈妈有个大彩电,她们就在那里看卡通片。另外,奇奇和卡洛斯是童子军,他们也不想在学校吃。他们喜欢站在寒冷中,尤其在下雨的时候。自从看了电影《斯巴达三百壮》<span class="" data-note="一部经典战争片。讲述公元前480年波斯人入侵希腊,斯巴达国王列奥尼达斯率领三百壮士对抗压境强敌,在力量对比极为悬殊的情况下,以少抗多,血战至死,宣扬了一种无畏的英雄主义气概。斯巴达是一个军事社会,所有男子未等成年都要接受艰苦的军事训练,来锻炼他们的意志和作战能力。"></span>后,他们就认为吃苦有好处。

    我可不是斯巴达人。我伸出一只苍白的手腕来证明。不吹到头晕的话我就吹不爆一个气球。还有,我知道怎么给自己准备午餐。如果我在学校吃,你就可以少洗几个盘子。你看到我的时间少了就会更喜欢我。每天中午我的椅子是空的。你会哭着说我那心爱的丫头呢?而最后我三点钟回家的时候,你会更欣赏我。

    好的。好的。妈妈在我这样磨了她三天后说。第二天早上我上学的时候就带着妈妈的信和一个米饭三明治,因为我们午饭没肉吃。

    是星期一还是星期五?这不重要。早晨总是过去很慢,那天尤其是。午餐时间终于到了,我得和留校的孩子们一起排队。一切都很顺利,直到那个记得所有在餐厅吃饭的小孩的嬷嬷看着我说,你,谁让你来这里的?我因为害羞,什么都没说,只是伸出拿着信的手。这样不好,她说,得大嬷嬷说好才行。上楼去见她吧。于是我就走上楼。

    我得等两个在我前面的小孩进去听训,他们一个是因为上课时干了什么事情,一个是因为上课时没干什么事情。轮到我了,我站在那张大桌子前面,桌子的玻璃板下面压着一幅圣像。大嬷嬷读着我的信。信是这样写的:

    <small>亲爱的大嬷嬷:</small>

    <small>请让埃斯佩朗莎在午餐厅吃饭,因为她住得很远,会走累的。你看她有多瘦啊。上帝保佑她不会晕倒。</small>

    <small>谢谢。</small><cite></cite>

    <small class="right">E.科尔德罗太太</small>

    你住得不远,她说。你住在大街对面。只有四个街区。甚至还没有。也许是三个。离这里只有三个街区。我肯定我能从窗户里看到你家。哪一栋?来这边。哪栋是你家?

    接着她让我站在一盒子书上面去指给她看。那栋吗?她说,指着一排丑陋的三户式公寓楼,那里是衣衫褴褛的人都羞于走进去的地方。是的,我点头,尽管我知道那里不是我家。我哭了起来。我经常在嬷嬷朝我吼的时候哭,尽管她们没有吼。

    然后她很抱歉,说我可以留下来,只是今天,明天或者以后——你就回家。我说好的,可以给我一张面纸<span class="" data-note="原文是Kleenex,是世界上最早的面纸品牌,因此,很多美国人保持了把面纸叫成“kleenex”的习惯。Kleenex品牌到了中国就是“舒洁牌”。"></span>吗?——我要擤擤鼻子。

    到了餐厅,那里没什么特别的。好多男孩和女孩看着我边哭边吃三明治,那面包已经很油腻了。米饭也冷掉了。

    <h3 class="ter">A Rice Sandwich</h3>

    The special kids, the ones who wear keys around their necks, get to eat in the teen. The teehe name sounds important. And these kids at lunch time go t<u>.99lib.</u>here because their mothers aren't home or home is too far away to get to.

    My home isn't far but it's not close either, and somehow I got it in my head one day to ask my mother to make me a sandwid write a o the principal so I could eat in the teen too.

    Oh no, she says pointing the butter k me as if I'm starting trouble, no sir. hing you know everybody will be wanting a bag lunch——I'll be up all night cutting bread into little triahis oh mayonhis oh mustard, no pickles on mine, but mustard on one side please. You kids just like to i more work for me.

    But Nenny says she doesn't want to eat at school——ever——because she likes to go home with her best friend Gloria who lives across the scholoria's mama has a big color T. V.and all they do is watch cartoons. Kiki and Carlos, oher hand, are patrol boys. They don't want to eat at school either. They like to stand out in the cold especially if it's raining. They think suffering is good for you ever sihey saw tha<samp>藏书网</samp>t movie 300 Spartans.

    I'm no Spartan and hold up an anemic wrist to prove it. I 't even blow up a balloon without getting dizzy. And besides, I know how to make my own lunch. If I ate at school there'd be less dishes to wash. You would see me less and less and like me better. Everyday at noon my chair would be empty. Where is my favorite daughter you would cry, and when I came home finally at three p.m.you would appreciate me.

    Okay, okay, my mother says after three days of this. And the following m I get to go to school with my mother's letter and a rice sandwich because we don't have lunch meat.

    Mondays or Fridays, it doesn't matter, ms always go by slow and this day especially. But lunchtime came finally and I got to get in lih the stay-at-school kids. Every-thing is fiil the nun who knows all the teen kids by heart looks at me and says:You, who sent you here? And since I am shy, I don't say anything, just hold out my ha<mark></mark>nd with the letter. This is no good, she says, till Sister Superiives the okay. Go upstairs and see her. And so I went.

    I had to wait for two kids in front of me to get hollered at, one because he did something in class, the other because he didn't. My turn came and I stood in front of the big desk with holy pictures uhe glass while the Sister Superior read my letter. It went like this:

    Dear Sister Superior,

    Please let Espera in the lun because she lives too far away and she gets tired. As you  see she is very skinny. I hope to God she does not faint.

    Thanking you,

    Mrs. E. Cordero

    You don't live far, she says. You live across the boulevard. That's only four blocks. Not even. Three maybe. Three long blocks away from here. I bet I  see your house from my window. Whie? e here. Whie is your house?

    And then she made me stand up on a box of books and point. That one?she said, pointing to a row of ugly three-flats, the ones even the raggedy men are ashamed to go into. Yes, I nodded even though I khat wasn't my house and started to cry. I always cry when nuns yell at me, even if they're not yelling.

    Then she was sorry and said I could stay just for today, not tomorrow or the day after you go home. And I said yes and could I please have a Kleenex-I had to blow my nose.

    In the teen,which was nothing special,lots of boys and girls watched while I cried and ate my sandwich,the bread already greasy and the rice cold.

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