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A sticky silence befalls the house for many weeks.
I hissed the words at her. “This, your America, it will kill you.”
Here’s the truth. We live in a model home in a prestigious village in a master-planned city. Beyond those borders, things aren’t so rosy.
I never did learn how the Vaughns got their money, but maybe that was part of the appeal—the mystery of it all.
Guy was released shortly after he was detained. His parents did their best to keep everything quiet. But already the rumors had begun.
She imagined impaling her husband on the molasses-stained tusk of that elephant. “It should’ve been you,” she said.
The bills were too thick to conceal in my pocket, so I reached inside my briefs and hid them there.
“I’m staging an intervention,” my husband says. “I miss my wife. I can’t be married to scrambled eggs anymore. You have to see a therapist.”
We wanted to embellish her legend, but now we were only the witnesses of her want.
If she just had her family back, Nia thought. Together they could chart a way out of the breaking.
Three days, our people had agreed: a real, old-school, ‘Rolling Stone’–style profile.
“I didn’t even realize the sun had already set,” I said, turning on a light for Herrick. He awoke with a jerk. “Time to eat.”
Anyone can play, she said. Just don’t cheat.
In previous pages of my journal, what I had remembered of the poem she’d shared with me, I jotted down.
Our Prevenir wristwatch alarms went off, the sound like a flock of robotic seagulls. One pill, every fifteen minutes, for twelve hours of each day.
It would never be said that Gloribel wasn’t the first, or the last, to swallow what wasn’t real.
Usually, Tara’s mother socializes. I stand at a distance, holding Tara in my arms.
The slip taped to his locker at the post office was an obscene shade of rose—a private pink that called to mind the very thing that had gotten him in trouble in the first place.
An example of the just-world phenomenon: If anyone found out, they would think I deserved it. When it’s the girl who gets hurt, they always do.
When Lilith and Gerald were married, it was because they should be.
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