Disclaimer: I don't own Jubilee or any other related character in this story.


She clutches her cell phone in her hand. As if there is a ton of calls a day. But it hardly ever rings. It hardly ever vibrates. It's hardly used at all. And yet, the buttons are worn. And the front screen is cracked down the middle. Her cracked and worn hands seem to always caress the small line, finding it easily against the other smoothness. Sometimes she splurges on funny ring tones that might fit with someone who should call. But no one ever does.

So she clutches the silent phone the way a small child might hold a blanket or pacifier. Some days she puts the silver thing down and tells herself that today! Today is the day she will not care anymore. But then the what-if whispers again and she grabs that tiny phone faster than if she had been scalded by hot water. But no one does call even though they all have her number. No excuses even though she gives them fresh ones every day.

Them. Them. Them! Those who should be calling. Those who should care that the small holes in her palms have opened up. Those who should care her apartment is so tiny she can barely breathe. Those who should care she barely has enough money to cover the costs of living. Those who should care her life has been reduced to nothing. Those who should care, but don't.

And yet, maybe someone does care. Maybe the hairs on the back of her neck rise for a reason when she takes her meager lunch to a bench in some wannabe park. Maybe when she hears those footsteps late at night after work following her, always following her, it's not just her imagination. And maybe those unaddressed envelopes full of cash that are always found under her door, slipped through when she's not at home aren't mistakes. But why? If no oneā€¦ if they don't care, what could possibly be going on?

She doesn't wonder or question or even worry. She doesn't do much of anything now a days but work and sleep and clutch her goddamned cell phone. Fuck the cell phone that never rings. Fuck the small apartment that crushes her chest so tightly it feels like she's back out on the front lawn crucified. Fuck Wolverine and his goddamned charity she doesn't give a shit about. And goddamn her because she still holds that cell phone like a life vest, close to her chest always waiting for the ring that never comes. The ring that could and would save her from this nothingness.

Jubilee, the firecracker extraordinaire has been reduced to nothing but a petite New Yorker. Not known for her wise cracks or popping gum. Not known for her gymnast like flips and jumps and dives. Known now as the fluttery, clumsy waitress who's palms are wrapped tightly with white gauze and who laughs nervously over everything.

Does a firecracker still shine if there's no one there to see?