Prologue

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I see colour. Brilliant flashes of green are neon bright against a sapphire sky. I'm running through my grandmother's lush backyard garden on a perfect summer day.

I feel warm. I'm laughing and running with my cousins — Vincie, Sonya, Jeff and my sister Faye. I'm chasing them through the field. The sun heats my face and it's good, like the laughter bubbling up inside of me. I can feel the tall grass slap against my legs as I run. Then, we're scrambling up the trees, impossibly high. There are five large trees standing sentry in Nan's back yard; one for each of us.

We claimed our own special tree long ago and we proudly climb higher and higher. Mine is closest to the house, and the biggest. I want to be the first, the highest, the bravest, always. I climb and climb, then nestle into my favourite branch. I'm sitting in the sky. I see something below, something I don't understand. I lean and squint to see better.

Then: a crack, a whoosh. And down.

There's a bang. Awful, awful pain, and jolt of something else; a sick feeling of something gone wrong — a head smacked into a cupboard door; a bitten tongue. I've done something wrong. It's all my  fault.

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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