As children they're learning the art of wearing different masks: the politely engaged one with their teachers, the unruffled, easygoing, coolly knowing one for their classmates.
He appears with a handlebar mustache on a Time Magazine cover. "Impressed?" he asks.
He compares my defense skills to a professional player's, in a game of basketball involving a small plastic hoop lodged above a closet door.
At the end of the week, a cold grips my throat and wrestles me down.
The words don't hurt so much as stick to me like random rubbish, a scrap of paper I've stepped on when it's raining out.
She likes to make each occasion more special with a handmade card. The thought and care she puts into her work creates closeness.
One of those awkward conversations where you feel as if you're surrounded by tripwires. Even a safe topic, taken slightly off course, is liable to lead to an explosion.