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rage inside, and a few seconds later she came out and stormed into the hallway. “What the hell?!” she screamed as she pulled her shirt on. “Ma and Baba are worried.” I mumbled, and stared down at my feet. I couldn’t look up at her. “Let’s go home,” I added, and reached for her wrist. “No!” She snapped sharply. I looked up. Her eyes were bloodshot and her chin thrust out, defiantly. “Gauri.” I repeated, narrowing my eyes. “You’ve given me enough shit already. Let’s go.” Before she could protest, the bedroom door opened again, and the other girl stumbled out. Her blouse was buttoned up unevenly, and she stumbled past us, muttering to herself and groping the wall for support. I watched as she swayed back downstairs and disappeared into the crowd below. *** Gauri heaved on the lawn once we left the house. I gently pushed her shortened hair behind her ears and held her shoulders as she crumpled to her knees. I helped her into the car and took one last look at the house. People were still stumbling about inside, and I could see their silhouettes moving erratically in the windows. As I turned the car around, I spotted Gauri’s car, parked behind the house we’d just left. “Hang on,” I said, and slid out. I jogged quickly to Gauri’s car and uncapped the air nozzle of one of the back tires. I gave it a swift kick with the back of my heel, and watched as the tire slowly deflated. I then hastily screwed the nozzle cap back on and ran back to Gauri. We’d have to come back in the morning for the car. Gauri looked at me confused, though a weak smile crept across her face. “Thank you,” she whispered.

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Connective Tissue 2013 | Volume 6  
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