One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston

One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston

Author:Casey McQuiston
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: St. Martin's Publishing Group


New Restaurant Lucille’s Burgers Opens in French Quarter


[Photo: An older woman in an apron stands in front of a bar, arms crossed, while a young woman in the background carries a tray of burgers]

Lucille Clement remembers growing up in her mother’s kitchen while waitress Biyu Su delivers orders to customers.

Robert Gautreaux for The Times-Picayune

“So you’re sleeping with Jane?”

August turns, toothbrush in mouth. Niko’s looking at her from the end of the hallway, holding a golden barrel cactus the size of a basketball between two tattooed hands.

She managed to dodge him when she stumbled back into the apartment at five in the morning with her shirt buttoned wrong and the shape of Jane’s mouth bruised onto the side of her neck. But she should have known she could only avoid the resident psychic for so long.

She spits and rinses. “Can you not do that?”

“Sorry, was I skulking? Sometimes I skulk without realizing.”

“No, the thing where you know things about my personal life just by looking at me.” She racks her toothbrush. “But also the skulking.”

He pulls a face. “I don’t mean to, it’s just, like … the energy you put out about Jane. It’s burning a new hole in the ozone layer.”

“You know, the old hole in the ozone layer closed up.”

“I feel that you are deflecting.”

“I can send you a National Geographic article about it.”

“We don’t have to talk about it,” Niko says. “But I’m happy for you. You care so much about her, and she cares so much about you.”

August stares into the mirror, getting the rare chance to watch herself turn pink. It happens in big, unattractive splotches. This is what Jane sees. It’s a miracle she wants to have sex with her.

Sex. She and Jane had sex. She and Jane are, if they can figure out the logistics, possibly going to have more sex. August isn’t a virgin anymore.

She wonders if she should be having some kind of mental journey about that. She doesn’t feel different. She doesn’t look any different, just round-faced and splotchy, like a hard-boiled egg with a sunburn.

“Virginity is a social construct,” Niko says mildly, and August glares at him. He does a vague sorry-for-reading-your-mind gesture. August is going to dropkick his cactus out the window.

“It’s true,” Myla says, head popping out of their bedroom, eyes wide behind her welding goggles, still wearing her satin bonnet from the night before. “The whole idea is based on cissexist and heteronormative and quite frankly colonial-ass bullshit from a time when getting a dick in you was the only definition of sex. If that’s true, me and Niko have never had sex at all.”

“And we both know that’s absolutely not the case,” Niko says.

“Yeah, our walls are thin and I have ears,” August says, heading toward her bedroom in search of something to tie her hair up. “What kind of safeword is ‘waffle cone,’ anyway?”

“Speaking of overhearing things,” Myla presses on, “did I hear Niko say you’re sleeping with Jane?”

“I—” August shoots a


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