Six girls in as many months. Talk of Ouija boards, a ghost hand lifting them in turn to rope. How else could they read the air and think it best to leave? Looking in the eyes of our friends, searching for signs. I saw her in the field with a bottle, I saw her fighting with her boyfriend. On the first morning it happened I thought I heard the sirens. After the funeral we ate ham sandwiches in the gym and never said her name. I couldn’t remember the prayers. Imagined a Ouija board in the back of her closet, concrete as a ledge. Each time the corridor flushed with rumour. I heard there was a pact, I heard bad things happen in threes. School-funded bean bags in bright colours, an hour a week to sit and smell lavender. Parents shifting on plastic chairs in the parish hall. Trying to remember feeling young and hopeless. At home I was toying with bad decisions. Tucked a note of their names in my bedside drawer. Remembered each date like a birthday. Blew a candle out, kept the feeling.