# 48 – Paper and Locks

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Liza went down the basement to check the back door.  The locks were in place and so was the wood board that she kept wedged under the doorknob.  Though she’d changed all of the locks after Casey died, she still felt the need to check them two or three times every night before bed.  She shoved aside a box of Laura’s things with her foot as she made her way back upstairs.  Liza had boxed everything in case she resurfaced.  If that didn’t happen soon, it was all going in the trash.

She went upstairs and stood in the doorway of her drawing-room.  The last sketch she finished was the picture of Bruce.  That was almost five months ago now.  Crumpled pieces of paper overflowed from the trashcan.  Most contained just a few lines and eraser marks.  She went in the bathroom to brush her teeth and wash her face but sat smoking on the edge of the tub instead.  In her bedroom, she shut and locked the door.  Last night’s pajamas were sitting on the bureau, but she lay down on top of the covers fully dressed.  She pulled the Nightmare Before Christmas blanket from the foot of the bed and wrapped herself up.  Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was sitting on the nightstand.  Liza picked it up and slid out the worn piece of paper.

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