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        From: helena_s
        To: finnbauer1997

        Subject: I have your phone... Gosh, that really sounds creepy. Is there even a way to write this non-creepily? Whatever.

        Dear Finn,

        I just wanted to let you know that I found your phone on the southbound train last Wednesday night. I wasn't planning to hold on to it for this long; I wasn't even planning to hold on to it at all, but when you never came back for it, I figured better me than someone else who wouldn't try to get it back to you, right?

        So that's why I'm emailing. I snooped through your phone a little, sorry, but hopefully you'll understand it was kind of necessary. Anyway, can we organize a way for me to give your phone back to you? I don't really want to keep it anymore—I swear this girl Tillie keeps sending me (but really you) topless selfies, and well, that's not really what lights my candle—and I'm assuming you'd really like it back, too.

        Best wishes,


Helena | Adam

I just screenshot you the email.

Do you believe me now?

Holy shit.

You didn't.

Oh, I sure did.

You really sent that to my brother yesterday? Fuck.

Where have you been all my life?

All praise aside, you sound like someone who'd be responsible for those weird posts on Craigslist.

Aw shucks. My life goal is made.

I was tempted to mention you, actually. It required a lot of restraint not to add, "P.S I wouldn't even need to send you this stupid email if you didn't go MIA on Adam all the time."

It was on the tip of my tongue. Or, in this case, my thumb. Ha!

Someone sounds a bit protective, hmm?

My friends call me a mother hen. Don't flatter yourself.

I wouldn't dare.

On a more serious note, I'm glad you didn't say anything. That could've been a real shitstorm.

Topless Tillie? Now that's something else.

That's what I figured.

Lol, don't go getting any ideas, pal. I don't send nude selfies. Not even to my dirtball ex, and I had the misfortune of dating him for over a year.

Well, I guess sending you a dick pic is out of the question then, too.


Have I just rendered you, the girl who's never short of a sharp retort, speechless?


And what are you? A poet now?

I'm just messing with you, Helena. I get it. Me saying "I trust you" is probably more significant than "I love you." Once you get fucked over like that, it's kind of hard not to put walls up.

Oh my stars. A guy who willingly talks about his emotional barriers? They actually exist?

I feel like I'm David Attenborough and I've just stumbled upon a new species. This is euphoric.

Shut up, Helena. I thought we were actually having a serious moment, a heart-to-heart, a deep and meaningful, or what have you.

You think witticism and rhyming qualify as a D&M, haha?

Not that part.

Are you really going to make me say it?

I'm not good at this kind of thing, Adam.

And what makes you think I am?

I don't know.

So we're both shitty at talking about our feelings... Great. This sounds like a solid foundation for a friendship.

How about this? I'll tell you something personal if you tell me why your ex is a dirtball?


Okay. Deal.

I think one of the reasons why my brother doesn't talk to me that much anymore is because, when we were growing up, I was never there for him. I was his older brother, but I let him down. I'm not proud of that. And now that we're older, I wish I could change that. I wish we were closer.

I'm really sorry, Adam. There's nothing worse than wishing you could go back and change the past. Wishing you could rewrite history. Unfortunately, I can relate.

As for my ex, it's a long story. The watered-down version is that when we first got together, he'd been cheating on his ex-girlfriend... with me. I didn't know he was seeing someone at the time, so, naturally, when I found out, I cut off all contact with him. Fast forward to a few months later, I saw him at a party one night. I was drunk, and we got talking again.

Ugh, it all sounds so stupid now that I'm typing this out. What was I thinking, right? Once a cheater, always a cheater. I shouldn't have been surprised when I walked in on him having sex with someone else, but you live and you learn.

Fuck, you've gotta give a guy some warning next time. There I was, thinking he was just your typical asshole.

Dubbing your ex a "dirtball" doesn't do him justice.

I've got a meeting in five minutes and now all I can think about is punching his teeth down his throat.

Be my guest. If it comforts you, when I found him with her, I swung a baseball bat at him.

I may or may not have fractured his arm.

That's my girl.

It was honestly a mistake, and I'm kind of surprised he didn't press charges. I didn't know my strength, clearly.

Anyway, I know you've gotta get to an important meeting. I won't distract you. Talk later?

You should know the answer to that by now, Helena. Later :)

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