>What do these nights remind you of- these warm tropical nights, when perspiration trickles down your back in thin streams and your thin shirt scrunches up in sticky folds? The monstrous old fan huffs and puffs, hot dragon-breath trying hard to suck the beads from your forehead. You don’t nuzzle your stained teddy bear as the night wears on- growing into the night, growing with it, its magic absorbing you, like life soon will. Your sheets are pooled around your ankle, kicked away in impatience. Is this how eager you are to go out into your new life, too, away from all you know now, familiar and loved though it might be?

When morning arrives, you will be a child again, rubbing the sleep from your eyes with your closed fists, faking a stomach-ache to get away from school. And maybe, just maybe, I’ll let you stay home this once- some years on, you will not be able to, much as you wish. Run wild through the waving fields, soar away with your imagination into those vast blue heights, be one with those colourful kites and see the world as you want it to be. Because when you grow up, you’ll realise that all that you were promised as a child doesn’t quite exist.

Should I prepare you for deception, then? I’d rather not. There is nothing like a stash of childhood dreams and memories to draw strength from.

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