It is an especially humid day. The air is stifling and rivulets of sweat run down my back and stain my white shirt. “Ma,” I say. “Why don’t we open a window? This heat is killing me.” My mother is lying very still on the floor, lethargic. She is sweating but she does not answer me… [5mins]

The summer I turned nine, my father surprised us all by announcing that he would be taking motorcycle lessons the following week. At the time, my brother and I were slurping spaghetti from our dinner plates, and my mother was spooning sweetcorn from the pot in her hands… [20mins]