The air was brittle and cold and in everything. Even in the car, heat coming out full strength, my coat zipped to the neck, fingers moving numbly in the pockets. When the boy… Liam. When Liam reached from the backseat to put his hand on my shoulder, told me the alcohol had been too much and now he was feeling waves in his stomach, of course I pulled over. I think he tumbled out before I stopped.
Then Liam was just a forest silhouette, and then all of him was gone.
I was hung over but very much awake when they called; I had carried my agitation with me from the car, back into my apartment, deep into my fitful and short-lived sleep the next two nights.
I had never learned his name, so I told the woman on the phone that she had a wrong number, that I had never known a Liam. I didn’t have to lie.