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  • Writer's pictureWellington Lambert

South of Moosonee 2

Updated: Mar 23, 2023

B -12/-20

I miss Annie

Annie was a mystery to me. I imagined her life filled with adventure before she came here and lived above the Canton restaurant. I quickly forced my friendship on her. I showed her how to ride a bike on the path behind the tennis court. I felt like I was introducing her to a new world. I wanted to be her guide in this icy shit hole. But more than that, I wanted her to let me into her secret life. She was exotic to me, someone from somewhere I couldn’t imagine. When I pushed her forward on my bike while she sat on my banana seat holding my chopper handlebars, I imagined her being eternally grateful for sharing my world with her. I was in grade 5 and she was my ticket out. We would become good friends; she would teach me her language. Her parents would learn to love me as their own, even though, at the moment, they seem confused and cautious. What does he want? Is written on their face. But Annie and I knew, I wanted out. Sometimes I would go to her place, and she would feed me noodle soup with something hard and chewy. It wasn’t something I was used to, but that was the point. I would grow to love all these new tastes… that was the price of adventure. I would be sad leaving my parents, but my mother would understand, I was destine for greater things in better places.

Annie left after a couple of years or so. But before she left, I gave her a necklace that said Annie on it. She thanked me for it when I brought it to her house, oddly embarrassed by the gesture…I waited for her to write me a letter…send me a train ticket.

Years later, her brother-in-law would return to Kap. Get a job at the China Clipper. Take a break from his shift. Go into the washroom and slit his throat.

I miss Annie.

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