Jeannie abandoned me for Catholic school. Our twin sweats hung isolated, their Jersey softness worn thin. I shopped fifth grade supplies, adjusted my backpack and climbed the orange bus like one sliced in two. No giggling seat mate anticipated my arrival. Tears dribbled down freckled checks, dropping onto library books weighting my lap. I became Pippi Longstocking, Anne of Green Gables. A quirky orphan. My new identity, fresh as loneliness, fake as fiction spurred a reading frenzy. I read so many books, I became Westview Elementary School’s reading champion. Still, I poured chocolate malted milk powder on ice cream, alone.