Late August. On his 21st birthday, Barton shows up drunk to her house. They both are working for the same lawfirm this summer - he dropped out of school after a month three years ago and now does clerical work there full-time; she'll be completing her major in political science with a concentration in legal studies a semester early this coming December.
Barton? Sarah says.
Yep, he says in return - neck tilted down and back, lids heavy - and then he throws up on her doorstep. Doesn't even bother trying to turn his head a little bit, just all over the mat, just like that. And then he starts crying.
But her parents are out of town so what does any of it matter anyway? She'll never see him again after this summer, and it's not like after tonight they'll act anything different from the mildly friendly way they did earlier today. The story won't get mentioned so it might have never have happened, none of it - the way she takes him upstairs and cleans him up and puts him in her brother's bed, the way he keeps talking and she keeps quietly murmuring her assents, the way she brushes his hair back and kisses him kind of softly. We had to cheat to find these details out right, but it's a nice story, anyway.