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One to leave behind This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

By Kiyoko, Knoxville, TN

One. Family photo beside the Christmas tree, crunchy wrapping paper and baby was in a red, felt Santa Claus hat. Mommy cooked dinner and danced to Madonna.

Four. New house. Big hill, big eyes and a secret place behind the fence in the back yard. There's lots of hairy poison ivy vines. They feel nice in cold places between fingers.

Seven. Not baby, anymore. Baby number two and the bedroom is blue now. Leaf trail houses on the top of the hill, onion grass and snail shells in spring.

Eleven. New house. New school. Big girl. Perfect for soccer and Judo and being scared of the dark. Sleeps with blanket over head, maybe no one will see. First crush, and of course it's love because it's sixth grade and he was so cute. Best Friend moves home again, Virginia has mailed her back, unwanted.

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