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Gift for My Sister by Ann Pearlman Chapter 1

Gift for My Sister by Ann Pearlman Chapter 1

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Published by AtriaBooks

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Published by: AtriaBooks on Apr 12, 2012
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06/09/2013

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1
Chapter One
On the Verge
sky
EvEry day wE
walk a razor-thin line between the ordinaryand the tragic.That thought bolts me awake.3:42. The green numbers on my clock blare. The rest o theroom is dark. The numbers are a beacon in the black. Why doI wake at the same exact time every morning? 3:42. As thoughMia’s death had implanted an internal alarm.Troy is curled around his olded hands.No sounds come rom Rachel’s room.The air-conditioning snaps on.Some o us tiptoe, anxious about chasms on either side o thepath we walk, and some o us skip along, ignoring them. Andme? I thought i I walked a direct line with a rm destinationin view, ullling each goal along the way, I’d be sae. Having asaety net was my plan to thwart lurking misortune.
 
2 ann pearLMan
I elt as though it were my ather’s ault or dying. What elsedoes a child think when parents seem all-powerul?My ather’s death came at me rom out o the blue like a pe-culiar and deadly snap o the ngers. One day he pulled me highon the swing, his arms stretched so I was above his head, singing“Fly, Sky. Fly,” and pushed hard so I could reach or a cloud withmy toes. I saw the glint o the sun on his hair, the fash o red andyellow leaves in trees blurred by my speed. Or have I nourishedthe image so much, this last memory o my still-healthy ather,that I added the trees I know so well rom the park when allthere was, really, was the sight o the sky and the eel o the windlicking me as I soared?The next day, he entered the hospital.A week later, he was dead.I was seven.He was thirty-our.Mom tried to explain that he was still around me, and lovingme. I watched her tongue tap her teeth and her lips move, but itdidn’t make sense then.It still doesn’t.I was the only child in my class whose ather was dead. Theother kids ignored me as though it were contagious. I was theonly kid I knew with a dead ather until my reshman year o high school. Then, a kid’s dad died rom a heart attack. He wasabsent rom my algebra class or a week, which had the otherkids whispering, and when he returned, he laughed at a joke asthough things were ordinary. I knew that game, because evenas a seven-year-old I had played it. I you pretend things areordinary, maybe or a ew minutes they will be. And sometimes,sometimes—and this is both scary and exhilarating—it works.And or a ew minutes you orget you have a dead ather.3:45.Anyway, I digress. I don’t know why I think about him everymorning. I guess because his death was a startling change thattwirled my lie so ast it skipped to another path. Some things

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