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08-14 samnote*

I don't remember who wins. I go get groceries. Tyler doesn't want to leave. Whatever.

I don't remember all the discounts. I don't use the coupons Tyler finds. I get the paper bags. Plastic is awful. I never know what to do with plastic bags.

I get to my room with an armful of food. I turn the key.

Finn is in the living room. He makes tea. Some smell I don't know. He says hello.

This is my apartment.

"No, it's mine. You see the tree growing in the corner?"

I do see the tree growing in the corner. Floor to ceiling, a dark wood as wide as my arms. Branches reach along the lights. Leaves droop on the drywall.

But it looks like my apartment.

Finn grins. "You're right." He takes a sip. "But this isn't yours."

How do you have a tree in here?

"It's a nice decoration." Finn looks and considers the tree. "Something to make the room a little more ours."

Brandon knows about this?

He looks at me like I've grown whiskers, one slow foot in front of the other towards me. "He takes care of it, just like I do."

I back away. He can't be here. This is my room.

Finn reaches a hand out to me. "Don't worry. You'll be right as rain in a second." I clasp his hand. In a flash, he's behind me, left arm out against my chest. My feet fall out from under me as he pushes and


I'm on the floor. Tyler's there. He helps me sit up. This is my room. The couch is there. No trees. The groceries sit in a bag next to me.

I tell Tyler my key didn't work.

"Of course it did. You're in here."

He takes the key and goes outside. I hear the key slide into place and turn. The door opens. Tyler.

I stand up on my own. In place.

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