Self-study, giving me independence and freedom, was what connected us to a guy who was first just a lawyer and then a military man and his family. They had my babysitter in the house, who cooked my meals, played with my son, took him for walks in the fresh air, and showed him the world.

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When I was in fourth grade, I began to dream that when I grew up I would show my talent in front of my friends and classmates and dazzle them. One day I was riding my bicycle home after a movie and imagined that I had only the handlebars and pedals in my hands and could do whatever I wanted. I felt like that’s what I had to do to be famous. I started recording my music and trying to write poetry. But in spite of all that, I found it increasingly difficult to communicate with my friends.

I always thought I knew I wanted to be famous. I thought I was beautiful, and the way I dressed, I thought it was very fashionable. And, of course, I liked making up stories to get the boys’ attention. I wanted to be active, I wanted to get good grades. So one day I started cleaning up the room where the television was. I was in a good mood, I wanted to tell my friends another story.

Suddenly I heard a noise from behind the door. Someone was crying behind the door. I rushed into the hallway and shouted: “Who’s there?” No one answered. So I decided to see what was behind the door. It was dark. I got closer and saw something between the wall and the floor. I lowered my eyes and saw the light of a flashlight that someone was holding in their hand. When the flashlight turned on, I saw the face of a boy who was crying and a boy looking at me and holding the flashlight in his hand and looking out the window. My arms reached out to him. I wrapped my arms around his neck, and he turned toward me and hugged me tightly.

A voice from the darkness said: “I didn’t know how to tell you this, Elizabeth, but I was so sad that there was no one to share the way you played.”

I lifted him up and sat him in my lap. I felt his heartbeat and realized he was choking. I took his hand and we went into the room where the TV was.