When I was little, I’d turn over stones to see the wriggling worms and ants teeming just under the surface. It became an obsession: stone pavers, garden stones, smooth or cracked, colorful or dull, sparkly or pitted, each stone carried the potential of having an entire ecosystem hidden underneath. And I thought I was the luckiest girl alive to know this little secret.
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When Phoenyx didn’t respond to his name at one, I waited.
At two, when he wouldn’t look into my eyes while I held him, I asked questions.
At three, when he managed to sneak out of the house and was found alongside the highway, I realized this was actually a life-or-death situation.