"I'm doing this jigsaw puzzle. And... it keeps moving."
"Um. The pieces are moving?"
"The picture is moving."
I looked over her shoulder. It took a minute for it to register, really - the image was changing so very slowly. "What's this supposed to be of?"
"A garden. But it's not. It's somewhere... inside."
"Okay. Yeah. That's... weird."
"Well - help."
"Help put it together?"
I sat and grabbed a handful of border pieces.
She glanced up at me as she clicked pieces into place. "So where were you tonight?"
"Bar with the guys after work."
"You've been at the bar with the guys a lot lately."
"Well, sometimes I'm just working late. Busy season."
"Uh-huh." She concentrated on her puzzle pieces. It was about half-done now. Sides and top.
"Why so curious?"
"I don't know, I just - hardly see you these days."
"Well, you're not lonely."
"What do you mean?"
"I mean - Jason's been coming around a bit lately, hasn't he?"
She looked up sharply. "Jason's one of my best friends."
"Oh sure. I know that. It's just that you seem to be seeing... a lot of him."
"Yes, well - if I wasn't lonely, I wouldn't be doing a damn jigsaw puzzle on a Saturday night, would I?"
I peered at the picture. It looked familiar, a bit. "I suppose you wouldn't."
She stared at the puzzle intently. "Greg?" she said in a small voice.
"This... is our apartment."
"No, I mean in the puzzle. This is our apartment. This is us. See? That's you, and the table - I guess I'm at the bottom of the puzzle. God, that's fucking weird. I can see you moving."
"Has today been a good day?"
She looked up. Puzzled, if you'll pardon the expression. "I suppose."
I nodded. "I'm glad you've had a nice day."
She clicked another piece into place, and another. And her eyes widened as she caught my movement in the puzzle before she caught it in person. She looked up slowly. "Greg?" she said, her voice small and querulous.
I sighted down the barrel of the gun. "I am glad you had a good day, Barb," I said softly. "It would truly suck to die on a bad day."
I was unsurprised to see that the remaining puzzle pieces were red.
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