Grace and Gabe, after saying something very cutting—Grace, not Gabe—have gone to visit her parents and I am home with the dogs, in the shower, flooded with the memory of a woman I once slept with who kept demanding, “Look at me! Look at me!” It’s not, like, eudaemonic.
Then the dogs are going crazy. Something is knocking. They get very protective of the house when I’m in the shower. I don’t hurry.
And let’s be real clear: the dogs we rescued from the shelter? Did not rescue us. We do the nice, expensive things, and they basically hang out with their small, furry demands.
And let’s be clearer still: what Grace said about the séance I hosted being “poorly attended”? I was not alone.
I decided to wear the Yves Saint Laurent La Nuit De L’homme. Recently, I’ve been favoring the John Varvatos Vintage, but the Saint Laurent is Grace’s favorite and I miss her. Her friend, Colleen, once told me, “You don’t talk much, but you always smell good.”
It’s Meredith at the door, the woman who tried to kill Gabe. That’s not fair. The accident was three weeks ago, and he has stopped complaining about his bruised spleen. The hood of her car is still dented, and she is holding a plate of cinnamon buns, my favorite. She says, “I knew you were home.”
In the living room, I’m rethinking her. She has the familiar, submissive demeanor of someone trying to get off drugs. The logo of her jeans is outlined in rhinestone, and good God, they are bootcut. She sits inexplicably in the chair possessed by Grace’s dead grandmother.
“Did your family leave you?” she says.
“Permanently? No.” I say. “Or rather, none of your business.”
“You have pretty eyes,” she says. “Are they real?”
Notice, she does not apologize.