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When I was 16, my mom made me stand up in front of an entire church for a service they held for her when she became a missionary. The song I sang was one she had written for a Christian folk trio she was in. One of the members of the group lived with us; she had moved in with her two kids after divorcing her husband. My mom found out she had some very serious and dangerous and personal problems, and asked her to leave. I was sad when she left, because she took her horses with her and also because she was a nurse and had been present in the er room my best friend had recently died in. My best friend and I had had this pact—that we would sleep with each other if we were still virgins at 16—only he had died months shy of our 16th (both in February) birthdays. That just doesn’t do a lot for a girl’s self esteem.