One summer, when I was about twelve, I caught a turtle while exploring our neighborhood wilderness area, Shingle Creek. I brought it home, and made a little pen for it, gave it some lettuce and gave it a name. My parents were less than thrilled. They made me keep it in the garage. When I went to check on it the next day the top of the pen was opened and my new pet was gone. Whether it had made its escape on its own or was "helped out", either way I was devastated. I cried for hours. I felt such an emptiness, such a longing; I was inconsolable.
That fall, when I started junior high, I found what I had been looking for.
Deborah was not a turtle.