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"Me? No, ma'am, I went to school at Saint Mary's Orphanage, that's where I grew up. But I was born at Saint Anne's." He'd been anticipating a reaction but when her eyes welled with tears and the hot cup between them spilled its contents over her hands it was more than he'd hoped, "Ma'am? Are you ok? Here let me take that."
Letting go of the cup she picked up a nearby dishrag to wipe the hot broth from her hands, "Clumsy sometimes, I'm sorry, did you get…did you get burned?" Even as she handed over the dishrag for him to clean his hands, Hannah shook her head slightly admonishing herself. Of course he'd been burned, what a stupid thing to say.
Settling the cup of soup down on his tray he gave her a smile as he held up his hands for her to get a really good look, "They don't feel anything. I got burned a long time ago all the way to the bone."
A bolt of ice shot down Hannah's spine as she wavered on her feet with her knees suddenly threatening to give out from under her. "I'm-I'm sorry about that."
"Why? You didn't do it, did'ja?"
With her throat threatening to swell so much it cut off her air supply and her knees growing weaker, Hannah grabbed her side of the counter to keep steady as she choked out a question, "What's your name?"
"Richard, my friends call me Ricky." Without waiting for her to reply, he slid the tray down the line where the nun was waiting to give him French fries and a chicken salad sandwich. Taking his customary seat where he could see Hannah serving people from behind the line he watched her excuse herself and run off into the kitchen.
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