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Valentina

Issue 45 by Lucina Stone

“Good afternoon. Could you kindly let Maritza know that Val is here to see her?” Val observed the woman at the counter look her over with big almond-shaped eyes drawn tightly in suspicion. Perhaps her polite demeanor was throwing the receptionist off her game.

“Yeah. Wait here.” The receptionist walked through a beaded curtain to the back. “Yo, Maritza, some lady is here to see you. Val or whatever her tight-ass name is.”

Val could hear laughter in the back. Her mother’s cackle was hard not to hear; it was usually the loudest, the most obnoxious.

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Passing

Issue 43 by Lucina Stone

Here it was, the opportunity of a lifetime to finally have everything that I wanted. No more of the desperate longing to look like the images I saw on Instagram. My self-doubt would be gone, replaced by an inner confidence that only I would know about. I had done everything possible on my own to pass and fit into what society deemed presentable but had always come up short. This long- awaited advantage would even things out for me and save me years of wasted time and money. So when it was my turn to order, I didn’t berate myself.

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