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By Vikki Wakefield

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Every one. I can’t leave a piece of myself in that room, so I take them. I run out of that house leaving the door wide open. SEVEN The next morning, for the first time ever, I decide I can’t wait for the holidays to be over. At school I have people telling me what to do, giving me direction. There are timetables, expectations: eat now, write this essay, dissect this, analyse that. Usually, the sheer promise of an empty day is thrilling. I can get up when I want to, wear whatever I like, ride the feeling until something happens.

Toothpaste, floral deodorant, soap. Packets of paracetamol and a bottle of eucalyptus oil. I pick up a razor and inspect the bristles caught between the blades. Jordan’s? Maybe voodoo is the way to go. The hairs look silvery grey—definitely not his. I unscrew the cap on a bottle of aftershave but decide it’s not Jordan’s either. It smells spicy and kind of…old. I lift spare towels in the linen cabinet and slide my hand between the spaces. Nothing but apple-scented softness. Of course the package wouldn’t be here.

I shrug it off. ‘No, really. I need…I mean it must have been…’ I feel an unreasonable anger. She’s so goddamn persistent. ’ ‘No. I mean, I know…No. I try not to listen to what other people say,’ she says, but her gaze skitters away. Her discomfort tells me that she knows. That she wants me to tell her none of it is true. And I can’t. I scrunch my fists and let my usual defensive reaction take over. I open my mouth and the words fly out. ‘We’re not very nice people,’ I say. ‘We sell drugs and we lend money to poor people who can’t pay it back and then when they can’t pay it back we take their stuff and sell it.

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