Late Bloomer

Soon Aiden had to be kept away from the other kids. Home schooled. It was easier. Bad enough that his little sister made fun of him for being so small.

The family moved a lot. Military brats, the kids were called. By Aiden’s tenth birthday he was introduced as their younger child. Once, this made him throw himself on the ground in a tantrum of kicking, crying, screaming. Through red, tear-filled eyes he saw that no one understood.

His voice dropped when he was thirty, to a husky drawl that girls half his age adored. He never brought them to meet his parents; being with them was illegal, and made his family uncomfortable. His sister had already married, moved away, had children of her own.

His father died when Aiden was sixty, his mother soon after. His sister followed when he was ninety. After her funeral he bought himself a boat and a fake passport, left his country behind, sailed almost aimlessly. At night he fell asleep on deck, the vast sky reflected by the fathomless sea like a promise of infinity.

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