I grab the iron handle, push the thumb latch, and pull. I smile at Clarissa, but the smile vanishes when I see the person standing next to her. Along with my smile, the blood drains from my face, sliding down through my chest and into my stomach, then on to my feet where it seems to pool there, pumping and throbbing, holding my legs in place even though all I want to do is turn and run.

Clarissa puts a hand over her mouth and looks away, like she’s going to puke in the Hydrangeas growing along the side of the house. But Decker just stares at me, and I think it’s possible he’s stopped breathing altogether. I hold his gaze, long enough for the corners of his eyes to droop, and then he bites his lower lip and shifts his focus to the brick pillar next to him, as though something beautiful has suddenly appeared there.

I shut the door, my stomach a swirling mess, my hand shaking against the iron handle, a stabbing pain in my chest like someone’s just driven a screwdriver into my heart. And then I’m on my knees, crying so hard I can barely breathe, my tears like acid in the wounds on my face.

(from Beautiful Girl)