“Jesse, I want you to know that you are very special to me. Don’t ever forget that.”

Even though I didn’t ask why, she propped herself on her elbows, letting her hair fall about her shoulders down to a pool of black satin on the mattress, and told me what made me so special to her.

“Because you read. You love your cat. You talk, but when you don’t talk, it isn’t silent somehow. I still hear you,” she laughed and tickled me as she said, “You aren’t and never were cool. Not only did you have an incurable case of cooties but you also were probably picked last for kickball, like me, throughout your entire grammar school career. You know what it’s like to be abandoned. You have a father who never left you. You have suffered.” She gave a happy shrug and kissed me. For the moment that was enough for me.

But the declaration did nothing to stop her growing feelings for Matt, who seemed to impress her at every turn. Her visits with me began to wane as her visits with him began to wax and I knew that she was slipping away from me as sure as the gentle waves of a bay slips away from the shore… except she wouldn’t come back.


“Well. It’s supposed to bring prosperity and good fortune. Says it right there on the How to Care tag. And guess what? She gave it to me on the exact same day that I met Matt.”

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Contact me at serena@serenajcavanaugh.com