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Auditions this January for TOP GIRLS The Semi-Circle will perform TOP GIRLS by Caryl Churchill at Theater Rampe, Zentrum Borromäum, Byfangweg 6. Lonely Planet Alaska is your passport to the most relevant, up-to-date advice on You?ll also find our content online, on mobile, video and in 14 languages. Was in Bidder & Tanner Basel earlier this week and was amazed to see that they are selling a small range of English food products upstairs.

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I'm showered and dressed now; my window lets in daylight. Soon an acoustic guitar strum fills the room, followed by a woman's voice. Electric kettle in hand, I prop open my door on the way to the bathroom sink. The song follows me around the corner. I leave the bathroom door open, too. As long as I'm their only inhabitant, I should make these spaces feel more like mine. Water fills the kettle. I look at my reflection while I wait. I try to smile in the way I should when Mabel arrives.

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A smile that conveys as much welcome as regret. A smile with meaning behind it, one that says all I need to say to her so I don't have to form the right words. I shut off the faucet. Back in my room, I plug in the kettle and pick up my yellow bowl from where it rests, tipped over to dry, from last night.

I pour in granola and the rest of the milk from the tiny fridge wedged between Hannah's desk and mine.

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I'll be drinking my breakfast tea black this morning. In seven and a half hours, Mabel will arrive. I cross to the doorway to see the room as she'll see it. Other than my plant and the bowls, even my desk is bare. I sold back all of last semester's textbooks two days ago, and I don't really want her to see the book on solitude. I slip it into my closet-there's plenty of room-and when I turn back, I'm faced with the worst part of all: I may not be able to do much about my smile, but I can do something about this.

I've been in enough other dorm rooms to know what to do. I've spent plenty of time looking at Hannah's wall. I need quotes from songs and books and celebrities. I need photographs and souvenirs, concert ticket stubs, evidences of inside jokes. Most of these are things I don't have, but I can do my best with pens and paper and the printer Hannah and I share. I write the chorus from memory in purple pen, and then cut the paper in a square around the words.

I spend a long time online choosing a picture of the moon.

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Keaton, who lives two doors down, has been teaching us all about crystals. I find the blog of a woman named Josephine who explains the healing properties of gemstones and how to use them.

I find images of pyrite for protectionhematite for groundingjade for serenity. Our color printer clicks and whirrs.

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I regret selling my textbooks back so soon. I had sticky notes and faint pencil scrawls on so many of the pages. In history we learned about the Arts and Crafts movement, and there were all these ideas I liked. I search for William Morris, read essay after essay, trying to find my favorite of his quotes.

I copy a few of them down, using a different color pen for each. I print them out, too, in various fonts, in case they'll look better typed. I search for a redwood tree that resembles my memories and end up watching a mini-documentary on redwood ecosystems, in which I learn that during the summertime California redwoods gather most of their water from the fog, and that they provide homes to clouded salamanders, who have no lungs and breathe through their skin.

I press print on a picture of a clouded salamander on bright green moss, and once the printer stops, I think I have enough. I borrow a handful of Hannah's pushpins and arrange everything I've printed and written, and then step back and look. Everything is too crisp, too new. Each paper is the same white. It doesn't matter that the quotes are interesting and pictures are pretty.

And now it's almost three already and I've wasted these hours and it's becoming difficult to breathe because six thirty is no longer far in the future.

Most of her texts to me went unanswered until eventually she stopped sending them. I don't know how her Los Angeles life is. She doesn't know Hannah's name or what classes I've taken or if I've been sleeping. But she will only have to take one look at my face to know how I'm doing.

I take everything off my bulletin board and carry the papers down the hall to the bathroom in the other wing, where I scatter them into the trash.

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There will be no way to fool her. The elevator doors open but I don't step inside. Now, in the daylight, so close to Mabel's arrival, I realize that if they were to break, if I were to get stuck inside alone, and if my phone weren't able to get service, and no one was on the other end of the call button, I would be trapped for a long time before the groundskeeper might think to check on me.

Mabel would arrive and no one would let her in. She would pound at the door and not even I would hear her. Eventually, she would get back in her cab and wait at the airport until she found a flight to take her home. She would think it was almost predictable. That I would disappoint her. That I would refuse to be seen.

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So I watch as the doors close again and then I head to the stairs. The cab driver steps out to open my door. I nod my thanks. My first words in twenty-four hours. The fluorescent grocery-store lights, all the shoppers and their carts, the crying babies, the Christmas music-it would be too much if I didn't know exactly what to buy. But the shopping part is easy.

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I rarely sleep upstairs anymore. I like the rustle and dust of the bookshop at night. I lie here thinking about Amy. I retrace last week, running back through the hours, trying to work out what changed between us.

But I'm the same person I was seven days ago. I'm the same person I was the week before and the week before that. I'm the same person I was all the way back to the morning we met.

Amy came from a private school across the river and moved to our side of town when her dad's accounting firm downsized and he had to shift jobs. They lived in one of the new apartments that had gone up on Green Street, not far from the school. From Amy's new bedroom, she could hear traffic and the flush of next--door's toilet. From her old bedroom, she could hear birds.

These things I learned before we dated, in snippets of conversations that happened on the way home from parties, in English, in detention, in the library, when she stopped by the bookshop on Sunday afternoons. The first day I met her I knew surface things--she had long red hair, green eyes, and fair skin.

She wore long socks. She sat at an empty table and waited for people to sit next to her. I sat in front and listened to the conversation between her and Aaliyah. We didn't officially get together till the middle of Year 12, but the first time we kissed was in Year 9. It happened after our English class had been studying Ray Bradbury's short stories.

After we read "The Last Night of the World," the idea caught on that we should all spend a night pretending it was our last and do the things we'd do if an apocalypse was heading our way. Our English teacher heard what we were planning, and the principal told us we couldn't do it. Our plans went underground. Flyers appeared in lockers that the date was set for the twelfth of December, the last day of school before summer vacation.

There'd be a party that night at Justin Kent's house. I stayed up late on the night before the end, trying to write the perfect letter to Amy, a letter that'd convince her to spend her last night in the world with me. I walked into school with it in my top pocket, knowing I probably wouldn't give it to her but hoping that I would. My plan was to spend the last night with friends unless some miracle happened and Amy became a possibility.

No one listened in class that day.