Homeroom always started with prayer, and my teacher, Mrs. Stein, always asked the class if there was someone or something we wanted to devote some extra thought and prayer to. I never said anything.
“I’ll tell you when you’re eighteen,” she sniffled, as she tucked a strand of hair behind my ear. My mother was sitting on the ledge by the window, roughly brushing tears from her cheeks
We arrived in Pennsylvania in the summer. Perhaps that was why I was not yet wary and vigilant as I should have been, as I told myself I would be. The slow and idyllic heat reminded me of the best parts of Georgia, before the air turned febrile and violent with the agitation of summer storms.