Marion was my first best friend. I never had the framed photos that girls like to give each other. I had never worn friendship bracelets, or even hated anyone else with another girl. My life seemed like something new and unasked for, Marion smiling at me in the sunshine, letting me wear her woven ankle bracelet for days at a time, braiding my hair that had grown colorless and thick, full of dust and the peculiar smell of heat. Bobby walked around wearing a sarong low on his hips, and sometimes naked, the skin on his penis mottled and pale, and so none of the other girls in the seventh-grade class were allowed to visit, but Marion liked it like that. She pierced my ears one night with a needle, holding a piece of cold, white apple behind my lobe, and there was hardly any blood at all. She helped me trace the outline of my face in lipstick on the bathroom mirror, so we could determine my face shape (heart) and the most flattering haircut (bangs, which she cut with Dinah’s nail scissors). Her hot breath, blowing the small cut hairs out of my eyes.