It was unseasonably rainy that year, even for Seattle. Half the playground outside their dorm was flooded, including the creek and the trees. The culvert and pipe that the creek traveled through under the wall had gone from its normal height of less than an inch to completely flooded with water. It took three weeks for the excess water in the playground and the creek to drain off.
When Jeri and Robin went out to the culvert again, he no longer fit. After struggling for half an hour, Jeri watched as Robin stepped away from the pipe, and began to thrash about in the water, punching the muddy bank with his small hands.
“I don’t fit anymore!” he said as tears began to stream down his face. Jeri stepped down into the creek and tried to pull him close to her. He resisted, at first, but then he buried his head against her, and began to sob uncontrollably. She did her best to muffle the sound of his moaning in her chest.
“Shh…shhh..It’s going to be okay,” she said as she stroked his hair.
She took all of his clothes off, as well as her own, and hid them in a hollow tree stump. They walked back to the dorm, naked and covered in mud and creek water. They snuck into the large communal shower area in the bathroom of their dorm, where Robin lay on the shower floor, lost in his own melancholy. Once she had finished cleaning her own body, she turned her attention to Robin’s.
She guided him back to their bunk, and put him in bed with her. They lay together until close to dawn, at which point Robin got up and climbed into his own bunk. After that night, Robin started climbing down into her bed to sleep with her after the lights out bell.
Jeri was secretly happy that Robin couldn’t fit in the culvert anymore. She didn’t want him to leave her.