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She banged her head painfully on the low doorway as she backed out of the attic. Once upon a time, she had been small enough and agile enough to crawl in and out without danger, but that was many years ago.

The wooden box that she dragged out had her name written on the top in large, careful letters. Just looking at it brought back memories; the smell of the big fat black marker that they had labelled all the boxes with, the hectic chaos of packing, the tearful goodbyes to her old friends.

The box had sat forgotten at the back of the attic for years; ever since they moved in, when she was only a kid. Somehow it had never been unpacked.

She took it downstairs, blew the dust off the lid, and found a screwdriver to lever the lid off.

Right at the top, there were two big tin cans; empty tins that had once been filled with golden syrup. She picked one up and smiled as, with a little clank, the other one shifted. A piece of string connected them, tied with knots inside the holes that her mum had made with a hammer and nail.

Slowly, she lifted one up to her ear and listened.

“Hey, Heidi! I know, we haven’t talked forever. Too long! I was just thinking about when we were kids and I had to give you a call.”

She smiled at the tin cans next to the telephone as she listened to her old friend’s voice.

© Kari Fay

Author’s Note: Today happens to be the birthday of my best friend from school. I moved away when we were thirteen and we don’t talk as often as we ought to, but, well…

Happy Birthday Heidi!

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