And Now You Can Go by Vendela Vida

By Vendela Vida

A gun is pointed at 21-year-old Ellis as she walks via a brand new York park. even if she escapes unhurt she is left psychologically reeling. Over the following couple of weeks Ellis retains every person at bay: the police, suitors who are looking to retailer her, and the college therapist who tricks that her sweaters are too tight. but if Ellis accompanies her mom, a nurse, on a undertaking within the Philippines, she unearths the existence - whether held up - can't be held again, and neither, eventually, can she.

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Nicholas is staying at his fathers place on East 72nd Street. His father made his fortune developing real estate in New York, and Nicholas has told me the apartment's been decorated by his father's various interior decorator mistresses. I enter the living room, where Nicholas is sitting in a chair, his back to me. the brown-haired head at first, but I remind myself that his dirty blond hair always darkened in the winter. "Hi," I say. I've brought the pepper spray with me in my jacket pocket. He doesn't turn around.

He asks if I want to have dinner again that night. "Okay," I say. " he says. "Okay," I agree. " I say it like a joke, but he doesn't laugh. "Why don't we meet at the fish restaurant on 110th," he says. Laugh, I want to say. Please, laugh. I was joking and you are the representative of the world and I need you to laugh. But no words come out of my mouth. I grab my coat, the same blue one with the plaid pockets. I kiss him good-bye. With one hand he slips down past my belt, grabs my underwear, and pulls me into him.

And small wheels I should have gotten the police to trace all incoming calls. Then they would know who he was. Why didn't the police know to do this? They are the worst. They are Satan. They are Satan, but stupid. The voice. I sit up. I know that voice. I press # and then 69 and get an answering machine. "You've reached the home of Wayne Gretzky," says the answering machine. ROTC moron. Thank God it was him. Thank God for him. I laugh. Into his answering machine, I laugh. "I should have known that was you, Mr.

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