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By Claire Heslop

Sarafim was looking out the window. The smoke from her cigarette wound around her hair, reaching for a resting place.

In the back seat, Chloe sneezed. She sneezed again, doubling over, her face lost in exploding hair. The smoke disappeared in her wake. She had pollen in her nose. She dug in her bag for a tissue. Richard changed the CDs. Behind me, Sarafim began to tap out an indefinable tune on the window, which had grown slightly foggy from her smoke.

We had rolled our windows down. Except Sara who didn’t because of what I once told her about light and dark. I think I told her more than once; she never could remember. I liked telling her the story of light and dark. I hope she liked hearing it. I know she didn’t want the blonds to see her. I didn’t care. I was looking at the shorter one with the shorter hair. Only Sara would have guessed. But, behind her eyes, behind the smoke and her hair, behind the window, Sara wasn’t thinking about me.

Sometimes things are covered up.

The glove compartment fell open again. I picked up the CDs. Nobody asked me to. Chloe was out of Kleenex. Sara’s butt went out the window beside me. Richard turned off the music.

The golf clubs in the back seat came out. They’re not ours, really.

Claire lives near Ottawa and spends too much time in high school classes. This is her first fiction publication.

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