The skin is taut across her cheekbones and her eyes are diluted as though they’d been swirled together and left to settle, the pupil’s ink seeping meekly back into its well. She isn’t really smiling. I ask what’s wrong and she makes a rusty scoff, the sound of a bullet choking in its chamber. ‘Fuck,’ she says. ‘Everything, babe. Nothing’s right if you think on it enough.’ I put my hand on her knee and squeeze. Surely there’s some good, I tell her. She closes her eyes and stops not smiling, almost peaceful. I ask, what can I do?

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