My world was small and consisted only of Steve.


“Well, Anna.” I elbowed her ribs. “That's okay, right? In fact, better. Think of all the germs. The disease!”


Anna looked at her palms.


There was obviously something the matter.


“Will you excuse me?” Anna scooped up her purse and scurried outside. Slam! Rattle! A chandelier vibrated. I held up a finger to Farra, one moment, and hurried after.


Outside, Anna was nowhere to be seen. Across the street, a television winked behind a window. A woman in a floppy hat pulled weeds near the curb. I had a feeling things could not go on the way they had been. It wasn't anything to do with Farra. Farra was a small thing. Anna and I — we were a big thing.


Anna's Volkswagen honked. She flung open the passenger door. “Get in,” she yelled.


I got in.


Anna stared at me and blinked.


“What's with you?” I said. “That was your chance back there.”


“I changed my mind,” Anna said.


“How come?”


Anna put her forehead to the wheel, it made a soft, sticky sound.