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wanted to be in her own warm bed. So with a steadying sigh, she started the car and shifted into drive. She drove slowly with both hands gripping the wheel for concentration. At three in the morning, suburbia was still, and Elizabeth was safely delivered into the neighbor’s front yard.

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Ben had called one of her college friends “a fag.” They didn’t speak for two whole days, and for two days Elizabeth was miserable. When Ben finally offered an apology, she cried with relief. It was then that Elizabeth began to think herself in love with Ben, to be very conscious of his proximity to her and anticipate his phone calls. * “You’ll have to pay for the damage,” Faith said to her Should she have died last night, what would he have daughter, “and help replant those shrubs.” Elizabeth done? Would he have mourned because he never told her nodded, embarrassed, and sank down in the passenger seat. how he felt? Or because he didn’t know he loved her until The hangover was flaring back to full force. she was gone? She tried to picture him wearing one of his nicest suits and kneeling beside her open casket, crying. His * At the bakery, Elizabeth cleaned the dining area, swept the mom would try to pull him to his feet, but he would fight her, kitchen, washed dishes, and stocked the displays. When the repeating, “It’s my fault. It’s my fault.” Imagining him in such courthouse crowd thickened around seven, Elizabeth and a condition, Elizabeth felt a chill of satisfaction beyond the her complaints were sent outside to repaint the backside of cloud of her nausea. the bakery where a bunch of punks had graffitied what Faith * called “devil symbols.” Two hours later, Faith came outside to find the wall half In the early heat Elizabeth thought about Ben. He still had finished and her daughter leaning against the shaded part the same sporadic freckles he’d had since she’d met him ten of the dumpster, holding her head with one hand and years earlier when they both played little league baseball. lethargically painting with the other. Faith told Elizabeth to Back then he was a scrawny kid who wore a Bears jersey clean up and eat breakfast in the kitchen. every other day. At twenty-two, he was a junior ad salesman The kitchen at Luca’s was bright and bare with simple who wore a tie. Elizabeth loved how he laughed at himself, shelves that lined the walls. A large wooden table, twice as how he called her without fail every day. Their friendship had big as the one in the Tate’s dining room that seated ten, sat survived even the three hundred miles that separated their in the middle of the room. Finishing half a mug of coffee respective colleges. And why wouldn’t it? They had nearly and taking two large bites of a danish, Elizabeth put on a everything in common and rarely argued. Elizabeth could plain navy apron. “What are we making?” only remember one time they had fought. It was because “Cannoli,” Faith said shortly, tying a soft, checkered green

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Profile for Katya Cummins

Niche Magazine No. 1  

Niche is an online literary magazine that was designed to be limitless. It aims to provide a place where an array of voices, from experimen...

Niche Magazine No. 1  

Niche is an online literary magazine that was designed to be limitless. It aims to provide a place where an array of voices, from experimen...

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