Claire was not attractive when she had been crying. She ran down the road, narrowly missing a heap of dog shit, brushing gravel from the bottom of her feet and gripping the sleeve of Ethan’s shirt with her other hand. “Don’t go,” she said. Her eyes were still wet and Ethan thought he could see moisture around the base of her red nose. He watched a bluebottle on the window sill behind her head and remembered Claire performing in the college production of Midsummer Night’s Dream last year. Ethan had left during the first interval, through boredom more than anything else and Claire had run after him, her limbs painted purple and her hair covered in white fluff. “Don’t go,” she said. He had laughed at her, standing in the car park, and she had cried. Today, he followed her back to the house, dragging his feet and then sitting in silence while she listed all the different kinds of drinks she could make him. Later, fumbling with the DVD player she put on a film that she said was her favourite of all time. “Do you like it? I think the scenery is beautiful.” “Yeah,” said Ethan and looked at the ceiling. He felt her squirm in his silence and a warm amusement creeping over him when she changed the film several times. At half past five he said “gotta go babe,” and left her sitting on the carpet with her wet eyes.