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She smiled, at him, over her shoulder, walking away from the library. The California sun, so sweet and so warm, lit her hair, and Sam, for a second, saw his mother.

He stayed away from smile girl for weeks after; it was just a little too Oedipal, to see his dead mother in a pretty girl's face. Even if she had the brightest smile in the world.

“I’m Jess.” She cornered him in the cafeteria when he let his guard down, read a book while he ate. “You’re Sam, and you’re going to buy me a drink.”

He couldn’t refuse.

End


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