The year we turned thirteen

There was no space anywhere else – I remember that – and only one bed left for the two of us. I frowned when my dad signed us up for the trip, but we never complained about the bed or the cabin full of boys. We didn't mind sharing when Cara's mum worked nights at the hospital, burying our secrets in the muffled dark of my room, so when someone in charge opened the door to our cabin we simply followed and put our backpacks down beside the bed. Then Cara climbed to the bunk above and the six boys laughed and jeered as her head bobbed up and down, up and down, to the rhythm of the breaths of the seventh boy.

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A Garden In My Mind

We went there every summer. In the beginning of June, when the cliffs turn hot along the coast, our car veered off the main road onto a dirt track, shuffling over stones and into ditches carved out by the winter rains. The pine trees grow taller, thicker, darker, their packed stems forming walls around the trail. I never got lost in the forest. That happened much later, in cities where loneliness often strikes you in the midst of the rush-hour crowd.

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