The Opposite of Subtle

“I sneaked into your house the other night,” Bez says. She is helping me to replace the photos in the frames on the wall of my living room. I like to rotate them out every few months or so, to keep the room looking fresh.

“I know you did,” I say. “Nobody else stacks chairs like you do.”

She grins and slips a photo of Julianna, undressed and a silhouette against the window glass of an abandoned house, into a wooden frame. “I saw Nikola sleeping on the couch. You should have had him up in your bed.”

“Hush. I’m taking things slowly, thank you.”

“Did he ask about the chairs?”

I hang a photo of worn and stained piano keys along the edge of my tallest bookshelf. “I told him it was the ghosts that did it. I figured that would scare him less than his knowing that you might just walk in at any moment while he is here.”

“Good plan,” she says. “I’m much scarier than any ghosts you’ve got.”

“My ghosts are so much more subtle than you. They like to keep a low profile.”

“Subtlety isn’t something I’ve ever been accused of.”

I take a photo of Bez from my stack, the one of her in the white cotton dress with the blueberries on it that I like so much, and put it into a black frame. “You keep my life interesting. I wouldn’t dream of you toning it down.”

“I’ll try not to sneak around as much though when your boyfriend is here, at least.”

“He’s not…”

“… your boyfriend, yes, I know. Don’t define him,” she says. “Just enjoy him.”

“That’s my plan.”

“Also, you should get him naked.”

“Hush, Bez.”

“I’m just saying.”




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