Mr. Eckhardt tossed the earrings on his lawn. Pick them up, he said. I was missing something here.

I groan. "Don't psychoanalyze me, Boy Scout."

She made a face at me and that’s when I realized she was drunk, or high. The whites of her eyes were rose colored. Crazy. Unable to focus.We are all going to die, Doctor. Every last one of us.

I was amused that she’d already given me a nickname, when my name was outlandish on its own. I settled my back against the railing and looked on as she seated herself on a lawn chair and began to undo the straps of her sandals. She was wearing the most bizarre outfit, a Christmas sweater over a low-cut top with yoga pants. When she bent over, her shirt gaped open, revealing the tops of tiny breasts in a creamy bra.Motherfuckers hurt like hell, she said. She stood up, tilting her head back to look at me. She was tiny. She needed heels to be regular-sized.Don’t judge my height, she smarted.

I was impressed—perceptive even while blazed to rosy-eyed oblivion.You’re little. That’s not a judgment, it’s an observation, I told her.

You could tell a lot about a person’s psychology from their favorite movies. So, that’s what I asked her next. By the time she’d listed them off, the girls were calling to us from inside and I didn’t have time to respond. Later that night I listed them off to Jolene as we lay in bed.

Fear, The Hand that Rocks the Cradle, and Single White Female.He stared at me blankly.

Did you ever think she used suicide to distract you from what you just found out? She was manipulating you.It’s not that simple, he said.

No, you idiot, it is that simple. Your ego is bruised because she doesn’t want you. She took advantage of you, George. You’re not going to make yourself feel better by trying to convince yourself she still wants you. My god, you’re all the dumbest shits. I stood up, my chair screeching loudly across the floor. Is there anything else you want to tell me, George? I’m afraid I need to leave before I act on the overwhelming urge to punch you in the face.He looked up at me, surprised. I thought maybe he wanted to laugh.

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