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She hears it before the plane takes off – the soft, absentminded whistle of some unnamed tune. The instant, rushing familiarity catches her off guard and she fights not to whip her head around. Instead her mind fills to the brim with a flood of memories, as if some dam has broken open, built in secret over so many years. Little girls starring in stories on a playground, running over woodchips, from imaginary dungeons under plastic slides to climbing up oak trees. Hitting the top of the arc of the swing at the same moment and letting go to soar through the air, to fall inelegantly to the grass – and with those grass-stained knees run back to the swings. They'd built castles of imagination, clumsy but extravagant cathedrals of thoughts. Words had flown so easily for the two of them then, like rivers of ink she now fought to wring out from her brain. She had watched her friend whistle the same soft tune. Worthless to remember, she thinks, but impossible to forget. How could she have forgotten?
She turns her head at last. It isn't her. But maybe, she thinks, she'll give her a call when she lands.