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The Explicit

Jane shares a coffee with Lucien. Lucien taught the best English class Jake ever took, and Jake used to draw with colored pencils with his father. Jake’s father works in purchasing at the prison where Schultz is serving six years.

Schultz sexually abused Rhiannon when she was eight. Rhiannon shares a cheap basement apartment with Ruth. Ruth sometimes sleeps with Topaz. Topaz never got back the ten dollars she lent Theo, who picked a fight after school one day with Corey, and as we speak Corey is standing alone on a stage, telling a story to

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On his bed, top bunk, the late afternoon light’s coming in slantways and outside somebody’s yelling. Gorgeous day.

He didn’t see the scar on her wrist at first because it’s not discolored, but it’s definitely there if you look. He draws his fingers up to her hand and touches it. He’s known about it, about her, for a year, but hasn’t seen either until today.

She’s watching him, not afraid, just curious. It’s soft and warm under his touch–he almost expected hard edges, but it’s only a gentle, horrible vertical spray. Now and forever, it says, this person is me.