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At nineteen, Pen had been sweet and uninhibited.

At her current age, as it turned out, she was still sweet (which was no surprise), still uninhibited (which was, just a bit) and also capable of serving up a very fine breakfast in bed, in exchange for which (I was informed) I would be taking out the trash and doing dishes later.

Rafi, being still recuperating, was allowed to earn his breakfast in a manner that I didn't think demanded much less of a physical exertion than my household chores, although he probably had more fun doing it. But then, I guess some things just never change.

"I don't think I trust you with doing any gardening just yet, Fix," Pen said, as if being allowed to do her weeding and planting ought to be my new goal in life. Personally, I didn't think I'd find being up to my elbows in dirt all that much more appealing than being up to my elbows in soap, the way I was right now, with Pen sitting down with a cup of coffee to watch me work.

And then Rafi came walking down the stairs, steaming mug of breakfast tea in hand, and I figured that, actually, as far as goals went, that one wasn't half-bad.