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‘What kind of a childhood is that?’

The midmorning sun came in through the curtains and Zaine Pulliam awoke to the debris of a weekend party. There were blankets strewn across the floor and half-finished plates of food on the couch. Zaine, 17, picked his way around a sleeping teenager and walked into the kitchen, where his grandmother was already drinking coffee. “Look at you,” she said. “Long night?”

Madie Clark had allowed her three grandchildren to host a sleepover for friends the night before, and it had begun with pizza, Sunkist and board games. But eventually she had gone to bed, and now she could see a few beer cans and nicotine vaporizers scattered around the house. On the other side of the wall, in the bathroom, it sounded like a teenager was throwing up.


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