She was eight, and then sixteen. He was twelve, and then fifteen. I never changed. I was always a fourteen-year-old boy, stuck in the same time and body, the same uncomfortable inertia. I watched my friends grow and change, but I stayed the same. My thoughts pitched like dust, abstract and transient, but I was the same skinny kid who roamed the same paths, between the familiar and the veiled. I would grow, I would develop a man’s thoughts and ambitions and weaknesses, but I needed to grow inside my own skin first. It was as gradual as watching a chrysalis develop wings. I saw it in my friends, but not in me.
And so when my father died, it was an outrage of change. His death should not have been, but it was. I thought I — we — were immune or specially blessed because we were constant and unaltered. But time had its fingers upon us the whole time, and it was a heavy revelation.