As I Die Lying Lost ChapterCHAPTER TWENTY-NINEBeth opened her door with a smile. A lying smile, but a smile nonetheless. Ithought about kissing her cheek, but I wanted Loverboy to sleep for now. The apartmentwas cramped, piled high with books and rolled-up prints. Wine bottles with candlestapering up from their necks sat on every flat surface. The walls were covered with cracksand movie posters and crayon drawings. The room smelled of wax, patchouli, andfermenting fruit.I sat on a plaid sofa that was leaking cotton from its arms. Beth sat in a stiff-backed chair and leaned forward, clasping her hands.“You’re looking well,” she said, but I saw the lie in her eyes, saw the lie sitting onher tongue. I was a cancer patient, a crash test dummy, a burn victim, a serial suicide.
, Mister Milktoast advised.
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. “So. . .what have you been doing with yourself lately?”“The usual. School. Got exams coming up. Working on my thesis.”“I meant, what have you been doing for fun?” Loverboy wanted to ask whoseone-eyed pony she had been riding, but I shoved him in the broom closet. “I haven’t seenyou at the gallery.”Beth looked away. Without the brown hat, her head seemed too small for hershoulders. The hat now adorned a Styrofoam head that stores used to display wigs.