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July 2, 2010
Glow-in-the-dark stars sprinkle the ceiling and walls. There are so many of them that the room is never dark. The girl falls asleep tracing designs in their random patterns. Some nights she stays awake to listen to slow, deep breathing (with a little bit of a whistle) of her sister in the bed across the room, and pretends to hold silent conversations with the stuffed animals that overflow her bed.

"One day," she's whispers to her doll, "I will be a really neat person. I'll climb mountains and write novels, don't you think?"

The doll never answers.