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I think I can remember a time when I was happy, before my sister was born. My clearest memory of her is when I was five, going on six.
My saliva was dribbling onto the skin which tickled my lip gently, just at the moment I breathed in fiercely, then sandwiched a chunk of forearm flesh between my teeth, gripping hard, counting one, two, three. I howled protractedly before deciding to lie down and writhe on the rug, rewarded by the sound of the legs of kitchen chairs scraping the parquet and startled, questioning voices already approaching.
Lucia, who had been chattering incoherently, insouciantly and clumsily building bright colourful towers and knocking them down to build higher or more interesting ones, jumped at the noise. Instantly she amplified it with her own shocked and frightened wailing, her huge, brown eyes like rain-washed, precious stones.
My parents flung through the…
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