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Mom came into the kitchen where we were all sitting. I was nervous that Grandpa would tell her all our secrets. It wasn’t that I didn’t trust my mom; I just didn’t trust what she would do once she found out. I knew one thing for sure, she would tell Dad. Dad would take things over and probably call the cops.

“Okay,” Grandpa said to Mom. “Let me ask you something. Suppose you gave someone the wrong gift but it turns out they loved the gift you gave them. However, you need the original gift back. So, what do you do?”

Mom looked at us a little weird. Her lips crook to the side and her eyes rolled up in her head. This was her thinking face.

“Can you not just get another one, exactly the same?” she finally said. Grandpa told her that was out of the deal. We had to get the one back we had given.

“Then just get one identical and swap it out without them knowing.”

That was genius I thought. I’m sure Grandpa did too because he smiled and rushed her outside. We all said thank you and when she was gone we started planning. First thing was we had to get a bottle that looked exactly like the one Amanda stole. That wouldn’t be too hard. It was just a plain brown bottle.

Grandpa told us not to worry about the bottle. He would take care of that. He did ask which one of us was the best artist. Sam was by far the better artist but I didn’t know why that mattered. He saw the confusion on my face and told us that someone would have to etch the map on the new bottle.

“But if we do that then they will still have a map.” I said.

“Not if the etched map is not just like the real one,” Grandpa said.

Finally, I understood what he was talking about. He was a genius, and Mom was a genius, I was super happy I came from them. Amanda would have a bottle with a map on it but it would be the wrong map. That way we would be in the clear to search without fear of them finding the treasure first. Also, they would be none the wiser.

Tommy couldn’t spend the night because his mom was getting off early so after the talk about the bottle he headed home. I could tell he was confused. Part of him wanted to stay with us and discuss the plan more, while the other part wanted to go home and spend time with his mother. I told him he should go on home and that we were done planning for the night.

After Tommy left, Grandpa headed for the front door. I asked him where he was going and he said he was heading home. I told him his home was here. He looked at me for a second then headed to his room. I was starting to worry about his memory. I thought about it for a while and decided to keep an eye on him. If it got worse I would tell Mom about it.

Sam and I stayed up late that night. We wanted to talk about the plan but we promised Tommy we wouldn’t. We did talk about how we would execute the part of the plan all three of us had already discussed. The tricky part was thinking how we could actually etch the outside of the bottle. It would be tricky and I didn’t want Sam to cut herself. Dad had lots of tools but we weren’t allowed to touch them. Even Grandpa wasn’t allowed to mess with them if it wasn’t an emergency.

It looked like the original was carved very carefully with a knife but I didn’t want her to use a knife. This may have been a bigger problem than we imagined. We decided not to think about it anymore and play a game. Sam loved Monopoly so we played it. It wasn’t my favorite game but she let me be the racecar so I didn’t mind so much. By the end of the night she had all the properties and almost all my money. Ten more minutes and the game was over. She won.

We went to sleep after that. I didn’t feel like getting my butt kicked in some other board game. Besides, it had been a long day and tomorrow would probably be even longer. I didn’t really have that much trouble getting to sleep. But I had weird dreams all night. I dreamed I was a pirate. Actually, I dreamed I was the pirate stranded on the island. I kept trying to get a message to Sam but I couldn’t.

I walked all across the island and found a cave. Inside the cave it wasn’t dark at all. Instead there was a light that came from a small opening in the roof and it lit up all the walls. When I looked closer the walls were lined with diamonds. I tried to get them but ended up cutting myself. When I woke up my hands were hurting.

I got ready for the day and went downstairs. Since Sam and I stayed up late it was already past ten when I woke. Sam was eating some cereal when I got down there. She had just got up too. Mom came in and got on to us for staying up so late. She said Grandpa and Tommy went on a mission and she was to tell us to go to the recycling plant and find a bottle. She said Grandpa told her he was making a gift for Grace and needed the right bottle.

I knew exactly what he wanted and we hurried and ate our cereal. The recycling center was a few miles away so Mom offered to drive us there. We accepted because that was a little too far to walk and we wanted to get back soon in case Grandpa and Tommy were back. I still didn’t know where they had gone. On the way there, Mom asked us what we were really up too. I wanted to tell her the truth but I didn’t think it would be a good idea. So I told her that Grandpa really liked our bottle with the candle in it and he wanted one to give Grace. I think she bought it.

When we arrived at the recycling center Mom stayed in the car while Sam and I went inside. There was a man behind a desk with a name badge. His name was Danny, according to the badge. He wore of a set of work pants and shirt that was dirty from grease and oil. He asked if he could help us and we told him we needed a bottle.

“What ya need a bottle fer?” he asked in a deep southern accent.  

Sam said we needed a certain bottle for a summer project we were doing for school and was hoping he could help us. She even told him we would pay for the bottle. Danny looked convinced and said he didn’t want any money and for us to follow him. He took us to the glass recycling part of the building and showed us tons of bottles waiting to be crushed.

My jar dropped when I saw all the bottles. How on earth would be find one that looked like the one we had. What I thought would be the easiest part of the plan was looking like it was going to be the hardest. Sam stayed cool though and asked if they had a place for brown bottles. He looked at her like she was speaking Chinese. He said no, all the bottles were in the same place.

Sam kept calm and we began to search though the piles of bottles. After a few minutes Danny came up with an idea. If he were to turn on the recycling machine we could watch the bottles go by on a conveyer belt and that would be faster than what we were doing. That sounded great to us.

He had to give us special protection gear for this. We put on a leather apron that came down to our feet, a face shield that would protect us from shards of glass if any bottles fell off and broke, and big leather gloves. We wouldn’t be in the room where the bottles got broken up, instead we were right next door and would watch the bottles as they went by.

It was pretty cool actually. When we got in place Danny turned the machine on and the bottles came through a little door on the left side and headed toward another little door on the right side of the conveyer belt. We stood in the middle and watched them go by. The little door on the left only allowed a dozen or so to come through at a time. This way we could see every single bottle as they flattened out across the belt.

Most of the bottles were soda, some were beer, but there were hardly any brown ones and even fewer that were the right size. On one hand this discouraged me but it also made it easier to find. Sam finally saw one but we both agreed it was not the right size. About a minute after that I grabbed one that I thought would be perfect but it had a chip in the neck. That wouldn’t work.

While we were looking I saw Mom though the window in the door. She was talking to Danny, then she saw us and waved. I thought we were in trouble but she sat down and began to read a magazine. Sam found another one and we thought it was it until I held it, the bottom was concaved and the original had a flat bottom. I wasn’t even sure they made flat bottom bottles anymore.

Just when we were about to give up I saw one coming though the small door. It was under a few clear ones. I reached my glove hand through the rest of the bottles and grabbed it by the neck. I caused one of the clear bottles to drop and it shattered on the floor. When I pulled the brown bottle out we inspected it. It was the right size and color. It looked pretty old and the bottom was flat. I think we had a winner. Sam agreed.

We took it outside and showed it to Danny. He said we could have it and didn’t charge us anything. I told him I broke one bottle inside the little room. He told us not to worry about it but Mom overheard it and made me get a broom. Danny came with me and helped me clean up my mess. Although Danny looked like a mean person, he was actually very nice. When we were done cleaning he told us to come back if we ever needed anything else.

When we left I was anxious to get home to see where Grandpa and Tommy had gone. I saw his truck when we turned onto our block so I knew he was back. Mom pulled into the driveway and Sam and I ran inside. He was sitting in the living room watching TV. Tommy was already at work.

“Where did you guys go?” I asked as I ran into the room.
April the 7th, 1882

We have been out to sea for over a week now. As much as I enjoyed New York it was time to get back to work. We scouted another merchant ship yesterday. I was nervous but ready to do what had to be done. It was a smaller ship but that didn’t matter. They still had loot to take and we were going to take it. Since it was a small ship we didn’t bother running up the white flag, instead, we just opened fire. It didn’t take long for us to disable the ship and sail up beside it. The new sailors quickly towed them close and we boarded. I wasn’t the first across but I wasn’t the last either. However, it made no matter, they didn’t put up a fight. Captain Burrows didn’t kill them, nor did he take any to come to our ship. If they didn’t put up a fight he didn’t want them.

I had a weird feeling about the ship. After we took off all the cargo I told the first mate I would like to search the ship further. He asked why and I told him it was all too suspicious for me. He told me to explain myself and I told him that it didn’t make sense that they surrendered so easy. They must be hiding something. He gave me permission and with three other sailors we searched the ship. After about an hour the first mate called over and said the captain was getting tired of waiting and for us to get back on board.

I was in the captain’s chambers when the order came through. I knew something was missing so I started looking everywhere real fast. Then I saw it. There was a hump in the baseboard on the floor. I pulled out my knife and pried the board up and there was a small chest in the floor. I pulled it out and took it to our ship. When I left the captain’s quarters the merchants saw the chest and you could see the defeat in their eyes.

I thought about keeping it myself but there was no way I could get it abroad without anyone seeing. I gave it to the first mate when I boarded and he took it to the captain. He opened it and inside was hundreds of jewels. Diamonds, rubies, emeralds, and almost anything you could think of was in the chest. All the men gave out a shout of cheer! Some of them picked me up on their shoulders.

Captain Burrows figured it was a disguise ship; hiding its treasure in the floor of a small defenseless ship. It would have worked too if it hadn’t been for me. When the first mate told the captain it was my idea to search the ship and it was me that found the chest, I was promoted right away.

April the 8th, 1882

Most of the men have taken to my promotion very well. Some, I believe, are holding grudges. I can’t really blame them. I haven’t been on the ship as long as many of them and now I am ranking higher than most. I fear I may have to defend my position to some of them.

April the 10th, 1882

Today I killed my second man. He was one of ours. I knew some of the men didn’t think I should have been promoted. So when a group of them came to me with their swords drawn I knew trouble was coming. The leader of their group said he was going to kill me. I asked why his other friends had their swords drawn. Because they are to defend him if any of my supporters wanted to help me out, he said.

I knew I was in for a fight. He was a very good swordsman. He would thrust and I would parry. Then I would thrust and he would parry. The fight lasted long and I was growing tired. My arms were aching and my muscles were on fire. The whole crew had come topside to see the fight. Even the captain and first mate were watching. I had hoped the captain would put a stop to it but I learned this was how pirates settled disputes.

After an hour I thought I wasn’t going to be able to stand much longer. In fact, I slipped down on my left knee. That’s when he came to deliver an overhead blow. When he reached up I thrust my sword forward and it found its mark, straight to his heart. He died instantly and fell over. I got up and looked at his friends. They lowered their swords and walked away. I had no idea how long I would have to defend myself. Maybe until all his friends were dead also. I walked away to cheers while two other sailors threw the body overboard.

April 17th, 1882

The last week has been good. The friends of the one who challenged me are no longer seeking to confront me. The one I killed was their ring leader and when I took him out the challenges stopped. Other than that the week has been slow. Since my promotion I no longer have to stand watch in the crow’s nest. I actually miss that part. It gave me time to think.

I seem to be doing well in this profession but I still miss my family; the wife I left in Savannah to raise our child. I guess this is better than them living without a father. If I would have stayed they would have hanged me for sure. It wasn’t my fault. Yes, I did what they accused me of but I didn’t know. All I saw was two men beating on some defenseless boy.
Knowing that Amanda was getting on Edgar’s shuttle bus it made me realize she was staying at that hotel. Tommy, Sam, and I were the only ones allowed to ride the shuttle bus and not have a room there. Once the bus was gone, Sam and I rushed back to the restaurant to find Grandpa. Luckily he was still there. Although they were no longer rolling silverware he was waiting for Grace to clock out.

“We found them,” I said at a rushed whisper.

“Found who,” he said but then realized who I was talking about. Probably because of the face Sam and I were making at him.

He said we would talk about it later after we got home. Grace came up then and asked if we were ready to go. Grandpa said he had promised to take her home so Sam and I got in the back of the truck while he drove to her house.  

Once there he had to walk her in, of course. He was a gentleman, as he liked to call it. We got in the front of the truck and talked about what to do now that we knew where she was staying. Sam suggested that we call the police but I didn’t know if that would be a good idea or not. We had no real proof the bottle was even ours. Plus, if we told the police then the whole story would be out.

Grandpa came out and got in the truck with us. Sam and I both looked at him strangely. There was something red on his lips. At first I thought it was blood but it wasn’t running or anything. I asked him what it was and he turned red and looked in the rearview mirror. He quickly wiped it off and said it was nothing. I still didn’t know what it was so Sam leaned over and whispered it into my ear. It was lipstick she said.

“Lipstick!” I shouted. “Why would Grandpa be wearing lipstick?”

Grandpa just started the truck and took off while Sam looked at me like I was stupid. I let the matter go for now but I would make Sam tell me later.  

When we got home Mom was out in her garden putting stakes around the tomatoes. She called for me and Sam to come help her when we got out of the truck. I hated working in the garden but Sam seemed excited about it. This was the first time she had ever done it apparently. She would probably grow to hate it as much as I did soon enough.

Grandpa went inside while Sam and I ran to the back of the house with Mom. Mom told Sam to grab the remaining stakes and for me to get the hammer. When we had got those she placed us beside the tomato plant and had us hammer a stake into the ground. We had to put three wooden stakes around the plant. It was very boring.

Sam was in good spirits about being in the garden and made a game of it. I was Van Helsing and she was Anna Valerious, both famous vampire slayers. We knew the wretched scum was living in the ground, just beneath the freshly tilled soil. It would be easy for them to come and go in such soil. We had to put an end to their bloody reign of terror.  

We searched carefully around the base of the plants to find the exact spot where the creatures where sleeping. Once we knew, we placed the wooden stake over the creature’s heart. Sam, I meant Anna, held the stake in place while I hammered down with all my might.  We could hear the screams of the vampire as it died and turned to dust below the earth’s surface. There were several vampires that met their end that day. It took us another hour but we killed them all and ran inside to tell Mom. She was very pleased with our work.

Grandpa was taking a nap and Sam had gone to read so it was only Mom and me in the living room. I asked her why Grandpa would want to wear lipstick and she looked as confused as I was. She told me to tell her exactly what had happened. When I told her about going to the dinner and driving Ms. Grace home she started laughing.

Mom had wanted Grandpa to start dating again for some time now. She knew he missed my grandma but it had been twelve years since her death. Mom missed her too but she knew her mother well enough to know Mawmaw wouldn’t want her husband to spend the rest of his life alone and sad.

Tommy showed up from his job about the same time Grandpa was done taking his nap. We all sat and tried to think of the plan to get the bottle back. It wasn’t going to be easy but it had to be done. First, we had to find out in what room they were staying. That wouldn’t be too hard. One of us could stake out the hotel and see what room they went to. It wouldn’t be a cake walk but it was possible.

Next we had to find a way to get into the room and get the bottle back. That would be the hard part. How could we get into the room? It had one of those fancy locks that you could only open with a key card. Those two parts were going to be hard but it could be done. We just didn’t know how we were going to do it yet.

Another thing we thought of was once we got the bottle what would keep them from calling the cops and reporting a break-in. The hotel would have cameras that would record us going into the room. This was a tough one. Once we got the other things worked out we would work on this problem.

Grandpa asked us if anyone outside the family had seen us with the bottle. I thought for a moment and then I remembered the beach patrol officers. I told him that they had seen it with us when we went to turn in the watch. Grandpa’s eyes perked up when I said that. However, Sam corrected me and reminded me that we found the bottle after leaving the beach patrol station. Crap, I thought we were on to something.

Finally, Grandpa did the thing I was hoping we wouldn’t have to do. But I guess there were no other options. He called Mom to come into the living room. We were all worried about what she would do when she found out. Would she ground us? Take all the information to the police? Who knew?

“Yes,” Mom said as she came into the living room.
March the 24th, 1882

The other pirates are calling me “Lucky” now because of the misfire. Most of them just call me Luck for short. I do not really know why. It is only one letter shorter. They said now before a fight they were all going to rub my chest for luck. I don’t really believe in luck but who really knows.

It took me a while to go to sleep that night. I don’t know if it was the near death experience or the fact that I killed a man but I had horrible dreams. I think it may have been a combination of the two. I know I had to kill the man or else I would have died too. If I died I wouldn’t be able to support the ones I left behind. And that is the whole reason I became a pirate in the first place. Yes, I am a wanted man but I could have easily fled to another state but we needed money first.

We are docking in New York harbor in a few hours. I will send my money home then. I hope it reaches my wife in time. They will foreclose on the house if it doesn’t. My wife and children will be left on the street without any place to live. I may be able to send them more money in the future. I hope their food supply has held out.
March the 25th, 1882

New York is a much larger city than Savannah. The man at the postal service said my package would arrive in plenty of time. I didn’t tell him what was in it but it didn’t matter. I would have no idea if she received them on time or not. There was no way she could get in touch with me. I would have to wait a few years for things to cool down before I could go back to my city. I signed the letter “Luck” and told them all about my new name in the post script.

We will be staying here for a few days. The first mate said the captain has a woman here so we always end up staying a while. That was fine with me. The longer we stayed here the longer we could go without having to board a merchant ship. Besides, I had never been to New York before. Maybe I could take what money I didn’t send and do something with it. They had a lot of fancy places to eat here so I decided to get something to eat. The food on the ship was pretty nasty at times.

March the 28th, 1882

The last few days were pretty interesting. The food is good and there is plenty of it. I felt bad about doing all these things without my family. I hope they were getting along okay. If I earned enough then maybe I could move us all out of Savannah. I don’t know how long it would take. Maybe only a few years and I could be free. Pirates make a percentage of what they steal. If I worked hard then I could get promoted faster and therefore make a higher percentage.

Tomorrow when we ship out I would become a better pirate. I hope my new nickname would be of some advantage to me. I was going to need all the luck I could get. I just hope this doesn’t change the person I am.
The next morning Sam came in to wake me. When I opened my eyes she told me she forgave me but made me promise I would never get that stupid again. I promised her I wouldn’t. She punched me in the stomach and I let out a yell.

“What was that for?” I cried.

“So you’ll never forget your promise,” she said.

If I knew she was going to hit that hard I would never promise her anything again. But soon we were both laughing and racing downstairs to see Grandpa. He was in the kitchen with Tommy. I could tell from the look on Tommy’s face that Grandpa had told him what had happened. Mom was out tending to her tomato plants while we talked about what to do.

Grandpa said he would take us around town and we would simply look for them. Also, we would use the time to try and figure out where the map started. Since it was originally on a bottle we didn’t know where the starting point was. Grandpa told Mom he was taking us to the beach and she said that sounded like a good idea.

We headed out after breakfast and started looking at places along the beach. Grandpa asked me what kind of car they had but it was too dark when they pulled up and I couldn’t tell. However, he deduced, their car would probably have an Atlanta tag on it so we wasn’t totally in the dark. We knew it was a car and from Atlanta. It wasn’t a lot to go on but it was something.

Grandpa drove down to the beach first to see if we could find her. It was still pretty early so the beach was vacant. He drove us to all the hotels that didn’t have a parking deck and we checked but no luck. The day went slow as we crawled from place to place. Also, we had no luck in figuring out where the map started. Finally, around noon Grandpa took us to eat at his favorite restaurant.

It was this Ma and Pa place off the beaten path. I think he had a crush on the waitress there. She was always touching his shoulder while he ordered.

Her name was Grace. She was around his age, maybe a few years younger and she had worked at the dinner for as long as I could remember. My grandmother had died before I was born so I liked the idea of Grandpa having a girlfriend. Plus, Dad’s parents lived in Texas so I didn’t get to see them much.

“Well, well, well,” Grace remarked when we walked in. “Look what the cat drug in.”

“Oh lord, you’re working today,” Grandpa teased. “Maybe we should go somewhere else,” he pretended to turn around and walk out. They always put on this show. Next she pretends to get offended, then he pleads his case, finally she forgives him and he sits in her section.

“What will it be today?” she asked him although he always ordered the same thing; fish tacos with a side of fries. Gross. He ordered his usual and the three of us got cheeseburgers with fries as well.

During one of Grandpa’s coffee refills he asked Grace what time she got off work.

“Three o’clock, same as every day,” she said.

“Maybe this time I will pick you up and take you dancing,” he said.  

It was like this every time we came in here. I suspected it was a lot worse when I didn’t come with him. He came everyday she worked. I wanted to tell him to really ask her out but I wasn’t sure if he would listen to me. Maybe he didn’t really want to ask her out, this could just be their little game they played.

The place wasn’t too busy so Grace spent a lot of her free time hanging with us. I thought she was very nice. She smelled of cookies and when I told her that she said it was because she baked all the cookies for the restaurant. Then she brought some to the table for everyone. Free of charge. They were chocolate chip, my favorite. I wanted more but knew better than to ask for free food.

While we were eating our cookies Grace came to the round table we were sitting at and brought a big tub of silverware. She began to roll it while talking to us and sitting next to Grandpa. When he was done he went to the bathroom to clean his hands. When he came back he began to help her roll the silverware into napkins. From his technique I could guess this was not his first time rolling silverware.

Tommy announced it was time for him to get to work with a huge grin on his face. I was happy he liked his job so much. Grandpa offered to drive him but we all agreed we would walk him to work. It was only about two miles away. Grandpa smiled and wished us a safe walk. When I walked out the door I could see them talking and smiling together.

I went to the truck and got our things out of the back. It was almost one when we got to the beach. The guys were just setting up the stand when we arrived. I asked them how business was and they said it was great. They told me Tommy was an excellent worker and they would probably give him a kite at the end of the season but made me promise not to tell him. It was to be a surprise.

Sam and I didn’t stay long and soon headed to see if we could catch the shuttle bus. It was still early in the afternoon so I knew Edgar would be working. Sam and I talked on our way to the pick-up point. Sam told me she thought Grandpa had a crush on Grace. I agreed with her. She said she now knew where I got being stupid around girls from. I gave her my mean face and we both started laughing.

         As we got closer to the place where Edgar parked, I was talking while Sam watched for the van. Then, all of the sudden, she pushed me down behind a dumpster. I started to shout at her but she put her hand over my mouth and pointed toward the van pulling up. At first I didn’t see what she was looking at but then I saw it. Amanda and her brother getting on Edgar’s shuttle bus.
I have an older brother that, I believe, is going through the early stages of a form of mental illness. He is constantly lashing out at his family members, he confuses events from the past, and he thinks everyone is against him. I'm not sure what kind of illness, if any, this could be. I am also finding it hard to deal with. He's rude, mean, and he tells lies on people. That wouldn't be so bad but he does this over Facebook, letting all his friends see him as a victim. His friends know nothing about his slipping mind so they believe him. I just don't know what to do. He won't see anyone about this because he believes everything he says. Any advice?

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:iconcatthecapricorn:
CatTheCapricorn Featured By Owner May 31, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks for the watch bro! ;D
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:iconjaynesbrothersue:
jaynesbrothersue Featured By Owner May 31, 2014
I would have done it sooner but i didn't know you had a new account! :P
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:iconcatthecapricorn:
CatTheCapricorn Featured By Owner May 31, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
No worries~ :)
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:icontsuyosa-10:
Tsuyosa-10 Featured By Owner Sep 24, 2013  Student Writer
I'm back on Deviant yet again. I blame you for this! ;D
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:iconjaynesbrothersue:
jaynesbrothersue Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2013
I will gladly take the blame/credit for getting you back on here. ;)
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:iconarymay2013:
arymay2013 Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
hello and welcome to #LOVE-Original-LIT c:
please make sure to read our homepage and if
you have any questions please don't hesitate to
ask -u- other then that, just have fun writing!
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Melalina Featured By Owner Oct 29, 2012  Professional General Artist
Thanks for the llama.
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:iconjaynesbrothersue:
jaynesbrothersue Featured By Owner Oct 29, 2012
You're welcome!!
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:iconcherylrae:
CherylRae Featured By Owner Oct 29, 2012
JUST WANTED TO SAY HI!!
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:iconjaynesbrothersue:
jaynesbrothersue Featured By Owner Oct 29, 2012
Hey there!!
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