– I turned myself in at a hospital’s psychiatry unit.
– I kissed Conrad under the bleachers and let him fondle my breasts at thirteen.
– You had breasts at thirteen?
– You were in a mental asylum?
– We said no questions.
– You started it.
She relents. “Your turn.”
– I learned to fly a plane.
– I can do a 360 in a car, on ice.
(Technically, she was in the passenger seat and saw her ex do it. But she knows the technique and if he can do it, she certainly can.)
– I’ve done it with two girls.
– I fell in love with a girl.
– I almost got myself killed once, he whispers.

Her eyes grow wide in alarm and instantly fill with tears. She chokes. “I don’t wanna play anymore.” She cuddles in his arms, his warmth slowly relaxing her. Try to stay in the moment, she tells herself. She can’t bear the thought of his nonexistence. All the colour would drain from her world. She breathes deeply. It will take her years to tease out the stories behind these revelations. She is studying to be an archeologist. She has what it takes. The smarts to see when a shard is part of a bigger piece, where it fits, if it’s of interest. The patience to understand it. The imagination to weave a story in which the vessel has a place. Was it broken intentionally? Initialed? Part of a series? She loves puzzles. Mostly of the inanimate kind. This relationship is a whole new ballgame.

She’s got herself a certifiably insane bigamous pilot who almost got himself killed once. She… doesn’t have that much baggage. He’s got the bad boy look she craves. Her heart is already bleeding from the hurt she will undeniably suffer. She’s doing the dishes and whistling. Her keys whistle back. She hates the stupid gadget. She doesn’t actually tend to lose her keys but she could definitely lose the gadget. A gift from her ex-boyfriend. Emphasis on “ex”. Except she despises waste so she’s been hanging on to it, waiting for the battery to run out. She’s tried giving it away, but the few friends she has don’t like gadgets either. “Chuck it,” is their advice. Like she chucked her ex, without even a look back. Her new boyfriend is the One. She feels it in her bones.

He’s picked up the dish towel and is drying the dishes, and putting them away. Nothing sexier than an unassuming muscular guy. The ordinariness of his actions in an extraordinary package. Package? Did she even think that? She chuckles. He comes closer, drapes the dish towel over her face in a slow caress. They are part of the same puzzle, some pieces don’t look like they fit but eventually find their place, surprisingly. She can’t see yet what the final picture will be, she’s flying blind and she doesn’t care.

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