Ilana quickly threw up her own barricade. She was furious at me for even broaching the subject. This time I frightened her. She faced me, blinking rapidly, a dry-eye tic, a subtle symptom of systemic deterioration, her fluttery eye movements making a disconcerting clicking sound. It was hard to look at her.
“See here, why’d you think I told you that—it’s such a great idea you’d copy me? That’s what you think—I wanted to start a fashion?” Her voice was not a good medium for her sarcasm. Ilana turned her back on me and hobbled into the living room, blinking and clicking, leaning on her cane. I followed uninvited. We stood opposite each other, Ilana adamant this would go no further, refusing now to look directly at me though my eyes bore into her. Weak-kneed, I eventually had to sit down on the edge of her sofa.
“This isn’t something…
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