We were in fifth grade the February we played hockey on the lake. It was Ryan, Becky, a few other girls in our class, and I. It was my idea. Recently, I had seen curling on TV for the Winter Olympics and thought we could figure out how to do it with real stones and evergreen branches as brooms, but Ryan wasn’t interested and Becky just nodded politely. It must have sounded to them like the time I got really into Swiss Family Robinson and wanted to build a fort in the woods with the kids I babysat. When I instead said “hockey,” though, Ryan and Becky lit up. The rink in town was being used by the boys in our class that day and the snow had melted enough that we could ride our bikes to Clearwater Lake.
When we looked down at it from the top of the hill, he stood on the ice. He was a black pupil in the center of a white eye.
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