My World

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I remember, when I was barely old enough to remember, my cousin and I racing up a hill to the very, very top and collapsing on the prickly, weathered bench. The adults were far behind us, discussing adult-like things that had no place in our unmarked, crystalline minds. They couldn’t see the fuzzy wonderland that stretched out ahead of our bench. The entire city, the entire world, was laid out in squares and rectangles in front of us. It was a hazy blue sea of buildings and trees and tiny moving cars. I felt like the rough bench pressed underneath my cheek was a ship or island and, if I moved off it, I would move off the cliff and fall down to this foreign and scary place. I didn’t understand why, when I tugged on my mother’s arm and told her to look, she couldn’t see. I didn’t understand why only my cousin and I saw this world, and why I was the only one to dread it. I looked out at that wonderland of streets and hills, I was scared, but underneath the fear was a thrill in my blood. I imagined it was how a knight felt when called to battle. My cousin, in a moment of innocent prophecy, told me that this was our world and it would stay our world forever.

Now, instead of clinging to that same bench, I sit on the very edge of the...

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