One Christmas day the whole family came together, as was the custom: my father, stepmother, younger and older sisters, older brother, possibly two grandmothers, maybe an aunt and uncle, and, I recall, various step-relations.
I was 15 or 16 years old. We exchanged gifts and consumed a great big midday meal, desserts and everything. The pressure of the festivities had me ready to explode. So my brother and I decided to leave the family gathering, as was our custom, for some adventure of our own. ...more