Tuesday, August 2, 2016 Your life is more open than you think. You think you’re safe. You have neighborhood watches and room-darkening drapes, password-protected computers, alarm systems, and garage codes that are absolutely not your firstborn’s birthday. Even with all that,...

Mia and Rachel were boring. Then I realized that while Brandt knew me so well, I knew very little about him. I started with his ex-wife, now happily living in an Atlanta suburb with her new husband. I friended her on Facebook, my profile picture a stargazer lily, beseechingly raw,...

Gil Brandt, Philadelphia Police Department, Homicide Division, August 2016 When they got the radio call about the DOA in Chestnut Hill, Gil Brandt didn’t think much of it. Another day, part of his job. Chestnut Hill was a bit unusual, not too many grisly scenes in those parts,...

Wednesday, August 3, 2016 Tonight, I skip dinner, too tired to heat anything up, and instead lie in my bed on top of the blankets, picking a padlock. It’s an odd little hobby, but a soothing one. I found a box of padlocks at a yard sale years ago, and have been working my way...

In the dead of night, the phone rings and the display says Dylan. I answer it, garbled and bleary, and he says, Edie-Bee, are you there? Were you sleeping? Of course I was sleeping. I don’t say this, but instead feel myself drifting off, the Restoril pulling me back into the black...

Thursday, August 4, 2016 I look for Brandt on the train again, I can’t deny it. I want to avoid him. Yet, sometimes I find myself seeking him out, calculating the time I’d seen him last (was it 7:45 or 7:47?) and timing my walk to get there at the same time. I hate my reaction,...

Still, she saw a man-child in need of saving with the added bonus of also being a sperm donor. Just my assessment; I could be wrong. They have a fourteen-month-old baby, whom she calls Baby Matty (never Matthew or Matt or even just Matty, but Baby Matty), and who spends the days...

Thursday, August 4, 2016 Belinda is out sick. Her computer sits dark, and within seconds, Weller is standing over me, his hot coffee breath on my neck. “I can cover her, no problem,” I say without turning around. I hear his snuffling, the phlegmy gurgle in the back of his throat,...

I can measure the four summers we stayed there, from the time I was eight until I was twelve—when Lilith had her “break” and Pop moved her back to the city—by her mental health alone. Was she on medication or not? Did she come out of her room or not? Did we have electricity...

Friday, August 5, 2016 Peter’s apartment is uptown in Chestnut Hill, a twenty-minute Uber ride. I hadn’t figured out his address yet, and now I was seeing it up close and personal. Peter lived in a converted stone Victorian, in the lower-right apartment. He opens the bright...