12:30 PM – 8 – sharing a bedroom

Happy. New. Everything here, in the new town, is good. I am popular. No one cares that I had to get glasses — they have never known me without them. It is okay to be smart here, too. Every week Mrs. Wedholm takes us to gifted-and-talented class, and we lie down and meditate, or complete logic problems, or go on field trips.

My sister has started kindergarten at the same school, so I see her now and then. She is happy because she got the teacher with the guinea pig. The other one, who does not have a guinea pig, is nowhere near as cool. Every weekend, someone gets to take the guinea pig home. Its name is Honey, and when it comes to our house, we are instantly enamored of it. It eats lettuce! It squeaks! It snuggles in our arms, wrapped in a blanket.

We are sharing a bedroom. We have always wanted to do this, like kids in books we have read. We will be the best of friends; we will share secrets; we will stay up at night whispering and telling jokes.

We fight all the time. We hurl insults across the room, create elaborate yet invisible boundaries, turn to our parents for arbitration. Within six months, my sister moves into the spare bedroom.

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