THE GIRL

He didn’t see the girl come into the bar that first day in New York. He looked up from his plate and she was there at the table closest to the door with scarves wrapped around her in layers of color and fringe. She wore gloves and when she finally removed them, she revealed delicate, white hands that waved the bartender her way, gestured her order, then waved him away again.

 

 

THE ILLUSION

After Corrine finished her cigarette, they walked back to the apartment not talking. Gigi had become used to not talking with Corrine. She kept apace, hummed a song he didn’t recognize, one of those folk songs maybe or something from her French childhood. He didn’t ask. He felt pleased enough just to be going home with her to a space they shared. “You’re perfect,” he said to her later in bed, realizing instantly that this was a lie, but he liked how the words made him feel, like a man who knew women, like a man who understood perfection.

 

 

THE NOTE

He turned the small, plain envelope in his hand. His name was not on it. Nothing at all had been written on the envelope, but it had been held or touched or passed along enough to show wear—a smudge, a slightly dirty fingerprint, a bend at the corner. Maybe the boy who delivered it had caused the distress or maybe it had traveled a distance to reach Gigi there in the middle of the morning in the middle of the jewelry store. He took his sharpest knife and slit the top crease. Inside he found one piece of heavy paper, a type of cardboard torn from a larger sheet or a lightweight box, a scrap really. Gigi pulled it out and read the words written in black ink in the large unmistakable letters and loops of Corrine’s hand: Do not find me.

 

“In her memorable

debut novel

Do Not Find Me,

Kathleen Novak

plumbs the mysteries

at the heart

of those we think

we know best.

And at the heart,

yes, even at the heart

of ourselves.


"Reader, this is

a writer to

watch.”

 

Faith Sullivan

Author of The Cape Ann

and Good Night, Mr. Wodehouse