Thursday, December 10, 2009


My cousin, Jackie, and I were a majority of two all during elementary school. We sat together on the bus every day coming and going. Our bus driver made sure our seat was saved for us.

We lived in a world all our own. When we got together after being apart there was no need for catch-up because we seemed to know what the other had done. Our spare time together was spent in the woodlands around our homes or riding her father’s enormous white Poland China hogs. We played in the haymow, and ran the trap line with her father in dark winter mornings. We never argued or squabbled. We were “it”. Sometimes, other girls in our class made fun of us but we took no notice because we had each other.

Later, after Jackie had died and gone to heaven and I was getting on the bus that first day of school without her my brother came up and whispered in my ear, “if any of those girls are mean to you just tell me and I’ll beat them up.”

My heart stopped for that instant. I had been living in foggy grief for days. It had not occurred to me what it would be like walking into school facing the other girls. Just me. Alone.

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