Ten o’clock Friday morning I’m on the porch in the landlord’s burgundy robe, smiling at a tall woman who has clear blue eyes and slightly curly light brown hair – she looks like an athlete. She might be thirty-five. Her fingernails are glistening and perfect in the morning light. ‘I’m a friend of Elliot’s. Tina Graham – he didn’t mention me?’

Elliot is the landlord. I tell her Elliot’s out of the country until August, which is true.

‘You must be Bergen, am I right?’ She flaps open a legal-size suede-covered clipboard and reads, ‘B-E-R-G-E-N’, sliding a forefinger along under the letters as she spells my name.


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