I once went over to another girl’s house. Her family left, or my family left, shortly after. People were always moving in and out of those apartments. Her mother wasn’t home. I don’t remember who she was. She recruited me off the street. I’d probably been rollerskating. I remember her self-assurance, and her straight dark brown hair. We cooked pasta in a little rented kitchen next to a window pressed against the clapboards of the house next door. There was a sliver of sky: afternoon sky. We watched tomato sauce bubble in the saucepan and she added garlic powder. Or maybe she asked me to. I don’t know. I just know she told me her mother thought she put too much garlic powder in everything. Her dad was out of the picture, so any opinions he held on garlic powder were moot. We just kept adding more, and more, and more, until the red sauce started to take on a yellow tinge. Her mom burst in with a big black purse, looking tired, then irritated: us busy at the stove. She said we better not be ruining everything with an excess of garlic powder. And the girl just smiled. I blushed, and felt a little terrified. But the feeling passed, and something else took its place. Something like triumph. I don’t know how old I was.