We waited until ten before taking the ute up the back lane. Mum would be home in two hours but Dad would be gone all day and the boys rarely came back home before evening.

Lee and I threw boxes and bags from the balcony—clothes, books, CDs, keepsakes. While Johnny finished packing we went back for the stereo and computer. We were putting them under the tarp when I remembered the soft-toys under my bed. Lee raced up to get them.

The dull suburban drone was broken by Robbo’s Falcon pulling in. I screamed for Lee. The car door slammed shut. Footsteps up to the front door. A key in the lock.

Lee looked over the balcony. Robbo shouting. Running up the stairs. Next thing Lee just vaulted. Landed with a whack next to me. I heard his ankle bones shattering. As Robbo roared from my window we hobbled to the car—Johnny had the engine going. I’d been so distracted I hadn’t noticed what Lee was carrying. He handed me Scruffy, my first bear, kissed me and said maybe we’d better swing past emergency on our way out of town.

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