It was never a real court–just a back lot and the unpainted fence where they hung the goal. That fence was just waiting to collapse on any kid who pulled. Peta learned never to dunk, never to showboat, but to pull for the layup: steady, stacking, point after point through tireless afternoons. First she never won. Then she always won.
She’s wearing sneakers now, cleaner than the ones she wore back then, and her feet scuff the same pattern. But her brother’s not there. She’s alone, in the noise of the exhaust fan and the swimming-pool smell of wet concrete.