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    Deborah Willis

    31. The Separation

    By Deborah Willis

    The year my parents seprated coincided with the year I adored my sister. Claudia was fourteen, and was at the beginning of the long rebellion that would define her life. I was eleven and still looked like a boy: hair that my mom cut too short, legs that I hadn’t started to shave. I wore the same outfit almost every day: jeans with embossed flowers and a green sweater. No wonder I was obsessed with Claudia. She listened to the Dead Kennedys and the Dayglo Abortions. She had purple hair and a fake ID that claimed she was nineteen and from Oshawa. She’d gotten her period, and boys had started to call our house asking for her. Sometimes I answered the phone in the evenings, and there would be a nervous male voice on the line, pleading, “Can I talk to Claudia?”

    “Who’s calling, please?” I desperately needed to know.

    But Claudia was a slave to the telephone and always aware of its ringing. She’d smack the back of my head before I could get any information. “Give it, June. Now.”

    She was cruel and lovely and totally awesome. I snuck into her room to riffle through her shoebox of tapes any chance I got.


    Our parents were awed by the latest catastrophe they’d created. First, two daughters. And now this: The Separation. They talked about it as though it had capital letters, and they both seemed to want to make it as crazy as the parties they liked to throw. . . . Read More.


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