it was too early to be charming, but still, he tried. it was too early to be curt, so i answered his questions politely, hoping each answer would shut him up.

"what's your name, anyway?" he asked, eyeing me up and down.

"christine," i said, uncharmed.

"i'm mike."

i hastily pulled my hand away from his grip.

"so why weren't you at my barbecue last night? and don't say it's because you didn't know me."

"because you didn't invite me," i said, and turned around.

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