Quotes from “I Like You Like This” by Heather Cumiskey

you shouldn’t believe everything you hear.
descent down her arms and into her hands, causing her thumbs to ache. The awful memory from last winter suddenly consumed her: the day she wore the wrong skirt to church.

Hannah had bought the outfit with her babysitting money—a denim skirt that fell a few inches above her knee, paired with flats and a pink golf shirt worn with the collar up. The look was very trendy around school, but just to be sure, Hannah ran the outfit by her mother, who barely looked up from her Sunday paper before nodding her approval. Every week they went through the same drill. Hannah had to dress up for church, usually in a skirt or dress. Jeans were never allowed. It was like church was a fashion show where the parents in her town paraded their kids down the aisle for all to envy. God doesn’t really care what you wear, Hannah thought, does He?

Her mother, for some reason, had stopped coming to church, preferring to stay home in her bathrobe while Kerry, her six-year-old sister, entertained herself. Hannah was never allowed to miss mass.
The door opened before he had a chance to knock. “D . . . good to see you, been a long time, man.”
“Thomas.”
Yep, that’s them. Gotta go.”
Hannah held the receiver in her hand, letting the dial tone numb her ear. Warm tears stung her eyes as she stood in her hollow kitchen, surrounded by grime and neglect, watching the starburst clock clip away the seconds of her sad, pathetic life.
Instead, he’d looked into her eyes and kissed her soul.
“I loved you at your darkest,” she whispered.
“Deacon really loved you, Hannah.”
Hannah took a long, deep breath, and the truth revealed itself to her in that moment. “He loved the power—and the drugs—more.”
Staying home and watching Friday Night Videos on TV with a bowl of ice cream in her lap suited her just fine
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