Bangs frame her freckles–frame pale eyes. A teenage Pinterest queen. Her clouds hold rain worth dancing in, and the future is distant. Everyday, the timeless season before life begins, on which she will look back–when she is thirty–and wonder where “that girl” went. “That girl” who, were she to die today, would be “too young,” untouched by anything, anyone, and full of bright things that do not make it past college. Not usually. But today, looking at her, you wonder if she may be the exception.

She is visual and spontaneous. A boat bears her out upon the family lake, and she talks to her brother’s girlfriend, freely (everyone is safe), about blue sky memories on the water. “We swam out to the sandy shallows, and then it began to rain. So we jumped back in. We thought we were mermaids.”

There is sunshine, there is whip it and ne ne, and there is lemonade in tall glasses while wearing Peter Pan collar dresses, stockings still so loose on preteen legs. There is rain too. She is a thousand hopes bundled up in a smile and those freckles. Those thousand freckles that, if she’s anything like her mother, will never go away, and perhaps in those lie the secret of her forever youth. One can only hope.


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