January 25

I take the business card from Kyle’s hand, and she goes off into the bedroom while I read it. LUCAS REYNOLDS, PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR. A number for a Shadyside office below it. Oh, crap on a cracker.
So Coat Jerk somehow found out where I live. More to the point, Coat Jerk is a private dick… I could be polite and say private eye, but in this case I think “dick” is quite appropriate. Something about that guy just bugs me. Is it the coat, or the come-on, or what?
Come to think of it, a lot has “just bugged me” today. I wonder if there’s something going on that I don’t know about… well, okay, so there’s a ton going on that I don’t know about. But specifically, I’m wondering if Kyle might be right. I might be cracking up. First the ring, then the computer… and to top it all off, I can’t shake the feeling that it’s all connected.
Oh God. Now I’m concocting conspiracy theories. I really am going loco.
Kyle comes out of the bedroom, dressed in sweats and carrying her backpack. “You gonna be okay here for a while?” she asks. “I could stay with you if that guy bugs you that much.”
“I don’t wanna bother you,” I say, honestly. We both do our own thing, mostly, and while we’re very close friends, we also give each other the space she needs. “Go have fun.”

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