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  • "Don't break it, Lodi."

    "I wasn't pushing that hard."

    "That's what he said," the tween delivered deadpan.

    "Where did you learn that?!" her mom shouted.

    Silence dropped a beat before the girl's teenage brother fell to the ground in hysterics. Their younger sister smirked and the girl cracked a smile. I sat frozen in silence as their mother melted.

    It was the first time she'd heard her children laugh together since their world fell apart.
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