“Just pretend it’s a lollypop,” she said. She wore Abercrombie jeans, low-slung but tight, and an off-white Henley unbuttoned halfway, so you could see her cleavage, and the chest pimples she covered up with Proactiv makeup. “And don’t be scared to take a break.” She fixed her blonde hair with an elastic. I watched the bun she’d made slip to the side.

My laptop, sleek and silver, six pounds, charged on the couch behind me. I worried it would get too hot. “Cause I’m not here 2 b around/ & b that grl that u 4get about,” my away message read. I typed the lyrics in alternating pink and black. Aslyn—a free download from Starbucks.

The night before, we’d drunk my grandma’s vodka straight from the plastic bottle while we watched OnDemand porn in the guest bedroom. I wanted Krispy Kremes. We joked about taking the car, but neither of us knew how to drive.

I heard the door open. She looked over my head at the laptop, then down at her arm, and snapped one of the plastic bracelets we made from bottle tops. In the right light, they were phosphorescent blue, like mermaid scales. We called them fuck bracelets. My mother made me take mine off. Not safe for sleeping, she said.

Nina Wolpow is waiting to hear back from MFA programs. She lives in NYC.