I couldn’t bear to lose the race, but I couldn’t bear to win.
I was 10. Summer at sleepaway camp, I stood by the pool. My toes curled tight against the lip, the concrete hot on my feet, the flesh on my thighs glued together. There was no diamond-shaped space between them, the space thinner girls wore like a gem. I stood, knees bent, leaning slightly forward, waiting for the lifeguard’s whistle.
We were in the middle of Color War. The whole camp split into two for a week of fierce competition. It wasn’t called War for nothing.
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