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Another tear splashed down on the expensive wood. It was hard, orange-and-black-grained cocobolo with alternate inserts of dense, reddish-tan tulipwood from Brazil. A trickle of tears had caught in the lashes at the corner of her eye and now they spilled over, dripping down her cheek and onto the arm of the love seat in her richly appointed bedroom. The tears beaded up on the arm of a piece of furniture that had cost more than some men bring home in a month. Yet, to her, the elegant surroundings were nothing more than a comfortable prison.
Her name was Tiff. She was fourteen years old. She was crying because she was sad, hurt, angry, frustrated, and frightened. She was a good girl. Why was this happening to her? How could her mother have deserted them? How could her father have treated her the way he had? One day everything had been so nice and overnight it all went bad, and what had she done to deserve this? I'm all alone now, she thought, and her shoulders shook with convulsive sobs. Crying her eyes out, as the saying goes...