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CHAPTER FOUR: THE NOTE

There's a spit-out wad of gum on the curb next to me, with a few grains of glass glinting in it. The gum, which is an unnatural shade of blue (the kind that dyes your teeth, tongue, and probably pancreas too), keeps catching my eye, which quickly starts to piss me off. I don't have time for this. I should be at my parents' house by now, arguing with my mother and putting off her one millionth suggestion about: moving in, looking for a better job, finding alternative childcare, how's the not-drinking thing going, and shouldn't you be moving forward on your divorce papers?*

*answers: 1. NO. 2. There aren't better jobs. 3. With what money? Plus he's your grandson. 4. It's called AA. 5. Last week you were all about reconciliation, and now you think I should squeeze him for alimony? Mom, you are the Queen of Mixed Messages, and as much as I appreciate the grudging support you've given me, I think you should go fuck yourself.

The note. There's a note under the windshield. I slide it out, my hands shaking. I don't want to be here. My head throbs with too many thoughts at once (sobbing, swearing, screaming). I can't seem to catch my breath. I open the note. It's thin, the fold in it crisp as a dry-cleaner's pleat. The handwriting isn't what I'd expect. It's not Dr. Ben's.*

*Is it just me or do doctors intentionally have bad handwriting, like to boost their credibility or something? Maybe it's because they secretly hate pharmacists.

No, the letters are smooth and round, the kind of cursive you learn in 4th grade with all the loops and dots in exactly the right places. A woman's handwriting. Unsigned, of course, but she wrote the date in the top right corner like it was a business note.

SELFISH CUNT, it said.

Of course there was no signature.

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