Stephen and Me

We did not care about convention or time. We would spend hours on the cool floor of the coop, chickens long gone, watching the light filter the dust.

And then Stephen stopped coming to school. Although he lived just across Collier Street, I did not know what had happened until he returned in the fall, 

a beanie covering his head and the laughter gone from his eyes. I was never to recapture those carefree days. At ten, I learned the true nature of things, that nothing remains the same. 

Emily Florence