“Admit it,” she said as they left their final court appearance. “You’ll miss me.”

“Well,” he said. “Do you remember that time five years ago when I cut my foot on that broken beer bottle? The doctor closed the cut with staples instead of stitches. It took fifteen staples. They stayed in my foot for a month. I kept snagging my socks on them and they’d seep little pools of blood into the sheets at night. They itched all the time, but I couldn’t scratch them because I was afraid I’d open the cut. A couple of them got kind of rusty looking and I thought I might be getting blood poisoning. It hurt like hell when the doctor finally took them out with those weird little pliers. And he almost broke one off because it had actually started to grow into the bone. Then they oozed puss for a couple of days, and I had to go back to make sure they weren’t infected. Do you remember all that?”

“Yeah,” she said.

“I’ll miss you like I missed those staples when they came out.”

She considered this for a moment, and then broke into a smile.

“I knew it. I knew you’d miss me.”