I don't remember when I stopped telling people how old I was. At first it was just about secrets: a secret I have and you don't is useful, isn't it? You can't do anything with my age if you don't have it--I'm always just the right age until you learn how old I am. That was how it started.

I do remember when it stopped being about that. There was a girl who demanded to know my age, and suddenly I didn't know how to answer the question. I'd walked the earth for a dozen lifetimes when she asked, and I'd walk it for countless more after. And I knew with certainty as I traced my finger along her spine two things: that I could trust her with all of my secrets, and that I would ultimately forget her entirely. Even these pages I'm writing now will be lost to memory. Maybe they already are.

I never told her my secrets. I stopped seeing her after a few weeks, and moved on. There were others, of course. There were so many others.

Then there was another girl who asked me my age. How could I tell her I never existed before today, that this was the only moment I knew, the only moment I'd ever know? This was forever, right now, and if I told her she'd have all of this eternity to judge me. I couldn't tell her that, but I told her all of my secrets, almost by accident. They just came out, one after the other, until I realized that I knew nothing about her: but here I was, brand new and trusting her. It was a mistake, of course, but how was I to know before it was too late?

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