February 25

Discretion is often called the better part of valor. But the fact of the matter is, I don’t think I have enough to go on right now to make a solid connection between Reynolds and the solution to this time business. This isn’t discretion, it’s base cowardice. I could be causing a lot more trouble for myself if I go running off half-cocked. For all I know, Reynolds could be trying to fix this whole mess.
I slow down a little bit. “Katie,” I say, “I’m sorry. I don’t know how much is on this card, you see, and I don’t know when it’ll expire…”
“Oh, don’t sweat it,” Katie says, smiling. “It’s not like you’re cheating on me or anything. I’ll tell Lou you had an early class, that’s all.”
“Thanks,” I say. “Say hi to Ray for me.”
“I will,” she says, kissing me on the cheek quickly. “You take care of yourself, Fran honey, and the Good Lord’ll take care of you too.”
I pause. “Thanks, but I kinda think you need it more right now,” I say, before stepping out into the dawn-lit street.

There’s another reason I don’t get Starbucks often, besides the money, which admittedly is a big part of it. For some reason, every urban professional in Pittsburgh has decided to stop there. So, naturally, by the time I take the detour to it, the sun already up and reflecting off the buildings, there’s already a ridiculously long line. It gives me time to think. After sublimating my seething rage against the trendy fashion-seekers who wouldn’t know a good cup of coffee if it bit them in the ass, of course. I have to retain a certain level of angst, after all. It’s expected of me as a college student.

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