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279 pages, Paperback
First published April 24, 2012
"What a cunt," Ray said, louder, emboldened by his friends' laughter. Meda didn't pause and my gut churned to hear him reduce her to the thing he'd done to her. The truth is that every fistfight I ever had, most of them with Robby, ended with me getting the worst of it. I was not prepared to take on five guys. I wasn't afraid. It's not like my nose was ever going to be straight again, but it seemed futile. I think even by the kindest of standards I was something of a weakling, but I had only one chance to do the right thing. Then it occurred to me: I didn't have to take on five guys. Ray Brueggeman was so intent on Meda's retreating back that he didn't even notice me.
Mr Darryl produced medical records detailing his clients broken jaw and teeth, and with a flourish, several Polaroid pictures of a swollen and blackened Ray Brueggeman. In one photo, he grimaced, showing the metal scaffolding that held his jaw together. I couldn't stop myself from smiling and Alex admonished me with a look.
"The supposed merits of your case aside, let me tell you what's going to happen if you proceed with this. Unless you drop your suit, my client has instructed me to pursue any and all legal recourse on behalf of Meda Amos against My Brueggeman for his 1988 assault on Miss Amos."
"I'll make you an offer," I said. Both lawyers turned and looked at me. "You can recoup the cost of some of your wasted time. I'll give you $100 for that picture." I indicated the uppermost Polaroid on the stack of pictures he had laid out.
"I don't like taking your money."
"You don't know what it's like being me!" The outburst startled Annadore into tears. Meda reached out and stroked her hair until she settled down again.
"You don't know what it's like being me," I said quietly.