Prologue

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I see colour. Brilliant flashes of bright, emerald green; a sapphire sky. I'm in a forest of elephant ears on a perfect summer day.

It's hot. I'm laughing and running with my cousins — Vincie, Sonya, Jeff and my sister Faye. I'm chasing them through the big field behind Nana's house. The sun warms my face and it feels so good, like the laughter bubbling up inside me. I can feel the leafy plants slap against my arms and face as I run. Then, we're scrambling up the trees, impossibly high. Five trees in Nana's back yard; one for each of us. It's perfect.

Each of us claimed our own long ago and we proudly climb higher and higher. Mine is closest to the house, the biggest. I want to be the first, the highest, always. I climb and climb, then nestle into my favourite branch. I'm sitting in the sky.

Then, a crack, a whoosh. And down.

There's a bang. Awful, awful pain, and sick jolt of something wrong; something I caused. I did the wrong thing. I feel dumb, like when I bang my head on a cupboard door, or accidentally bite my tongue. 

Tears don't come, not at first. I can't breathe. 

Screams then, and I see Daddy. His face is scared. He scoops me up in his strong arms and runs with me. "I got you, baby. Daddy's got you."

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