A. grew up pretty and bright, with a cutting sense of humor and a keen appreciation of beauty. Her closest friend was B., who had been at school with her. B. saw qualities in her that others did not see. They took to each other instantly. They spent loads of time together; staying up late mixing complicated drinks, watching movies and listening to CDs. They would get silly from the alcohol and wrestle and lay on the couch and race each other to the bathroom laughing. Often, B. spent the night, and in the morning, they would have coffee, read the paper to each other, and contemplate the day. Sometimes, he'd get night terrors and she would calm him until he went back to sleep.
He brought her gifts on a regular basis. They were strange and pretty gifts, because strange and beautiful was how he thought of her. He brought her shards of broken glass, but not ordinary glass. He would find the deep stained blues, reds and yellows from church windows. Often, he brought the green glass shards of beer bottles broken in joyful exuberance. Sometimes, there were whole marbles, if they were particularly fetching. Once, B. collected the remnants of a champagne glass broken under some happy foot at a stranger's wedding. A. placed all these shards in an aluminum tray in the center of the living room. Together, they would comb through them, pointing out their favorites and B. would tell stories about the finding of various pieces and how those individual shards reminded him of A. Eventually, the shards became too much for the tray and A. went out and bought a clear, hand-blown jar from a local glassblower. She filled the jar with her collection and placed it in the kitchen window, where the sun would shine through all the colors during morning coffee.