Hands cover your eyes from behind you, and Zac Efron is lost to the darkness. 'You hurt because you're alive, Charlie,' is the last thing you hear before the film is paused. She didn't knock - she has the keys to your apartment, after all. A knowing smile mocks you even as you try to manage one of your own.
"Hello there," you manage in greeting.
"I'm back again," is the answer you get. You can only sigh in agreement.
"I guess I could use the company," you confess.
She clears a space on your coffee table, dumping take-out containers, soda cans and cigarette butts into a black bag. "I brought beer, love," she says before kissing your forehead. Humming, she walks to the fridge, handling everything delicately, like a celebrant preparing for a rite. Satisfied, she returns to take a seat beside you. She lights a cigarette and takes a drag before handing you one of your own. She pours beer into a glass and passes it on to you. You just swirl the drink inside the glass to keep yourself occupied.
"Now, tell me everything," she says without preamble. You turn down a glass, savoring the cold, knowing the numbness will come later. You tap the ashes into the ashtray and take your first drag.
Shrugging, you begin your tale, "last autumn, I met a boy..."