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She loves her name. Most people don’t pronounce it right at first, but she enjoys correcting them, so that works out well. She loves the way her boyfriends say it; she can’t help but laugh when her mother yells it in anger.

She has a particular memory of a vacation, when she was young, and standing out on a dock somewhere in Florida. They were setting off fireworks across the river; some of them hurt her ears, but she really liked the ones that trailed noise on the way up. She thought they were talking to her. Boom, pop, crackle, Xiao!