It was Rusell. He immediately spotted her when she entered the theater. He was sitting with two other boys, probably his friends, who seemed to be ignoring him because they were hunched together looking at something.

"Hi, Jessie!" he said, waving.

She nervously waved back, checking to see if Nama was looking, but luckily she was doing something else. Rusell ran down the aisles to meet Jessie, and again she saw his remarkably dark eyes. His lips curled into a half smile, and he seemed to want to either kiss her or kill her.

"I just want to say that I'm sorry about that night. I really don't know what came over me. It was really weird," he said, pushing his hair behind his shoulders.

"I know what happened," said Jessie. "You got fucking horny, that's what. It happens to everyone."

Rusell looked at her in a strange way, then half-smiled again.

"Look, I was wondering if you'd like to sit with me and my friends during the movie, cause your friend seems occupied..."

He nodded with his head to a spot behind Jessie. She turned to look, and to her great shock and horror saw Nama kissing someone. And not just anyone: it was Johnny! Just as the realization had sunk in, Nama turned around and saw Jessie staring. She didn't move, she only stared at Jessie, then at Rusell, then at Johnny, then at Jessie again, with a weird sort of half-lost look on her face. Finally, and to Jessie's great surprise, she grinned.

"Jessie..." she said, apparently forcing back laughter. "It's..."

Jessie turned to Rusell and kissed him. There was nothing else for her to do. She was filled with a feeling she had never felt before, and it wasn't anger. She didn't quite know what to call it, but she knew that it gnawed at her stomach and made a tear fall down her cheek. Rusell pulled away from the kiss first, because Jessie was pushing hard against his lips and was hurting him. Jessie turned her head and looked at the theater, and it seemed that everyone was looking at her. Dazed, she ran from the theater.

She ran for a long time, following whatever road she was on and pushing whoever got in her way. Finally, when she got too tired, she stopped in a park and sat down on a bench. Once she caught her breath, she looked beside her and saw that it was a man, probably only a few years older than her, who had a bowler hat tilted over his face. He seemed to be smiling behind his cigarette.

"Having trouble?" he said, smirking. "You seem to be running away from something."

She turned to him just in time to see him blow a large ring of smoke. He put his cigarette back in his mouth and turned to her.

"Well? Spit it out. You weren't just doing some jogging. And," he said, gesturing his hand towards her, "you're crying."

Jessie furiously wiped the tears from her eyes and answered him.

"Just some little thing. It's a long story. Also, I don't speak to strangers," she said, smirking.

He took off his hat, revealing blond hair that stopped a bit above his chin. He had dark eyes, though, and they seemed cold as the bottom of the ocean, where the sun never reaches. Jessie didn't think he was very attractive, but she did think he looked nice.

"I know a place," he said, still smirking, "where you can forget your problems...for now. But your problems will never go away until you realize what they are."

"What's your name?" asked Jessie, curious to know who he was.

"I'm Cake. Call me that. It's not my name, but everyone calls me that, and I'm having trouble remembering what my real name is."

Jessie stared at him, then nodded.

"I'm Jessie."

"I know. So, do you want to come or not?"

Jessie was so mad at everything that she accepted, so Cake brought her to his car, which was a BMW convertible.

"Wow! Is that really yours?"

"No it's my friend's. I like to borrow his car every once in a while."

Jessie was sure that this was not the truth, but she was too troubled at that moment to really care about another lie. She sat down in the back seat and waited for Cake to get in. She knew that what she was doing was very dangerous, but it was a better way to die than commiting suicide.

"Want a smoke?" asked Cake, throwing his cigarette out the window and turning around to look at her.

"No, thanks. I don't smoke," she said. They had been driving for a good ten minutes, and Jessie noticed that they were driving in a dangerous part of town. She opened the window and was greeted with exhaust fumes.

Finally, they stopped in front of a bar that looked dirty but still lively, because there was loud music coming out and it was only about 3 in the afternoon.

"Come on out," said Cake, gesturing. Jessie hadn't even seen him get out. She followed him outside and into the bar. She didn't need to hear Cake say it to know it was a gay bar, because there was some same-sex action going on. She nervously followed Cake up to the counter, where he bought her a beer before she could protest.

"So, finally, I'll learn a bit more about you, Jessie. You're... how old?"

Jessie answered all his questions nervously, while looking around at all the other people who were dancing. She overlooked the whole building many times, and noticed a woman staring intently at her. Embarrassed, she looked back at Cake. He was smiling at her.

"That's Charlie. She comes here all the time. She's been sad about something for awhile, though, and she won't tell me what it is." He smiled and waved her over.

Charlie slowly made her way through the crowd of people and sat down beside Jessie. She was at least ten years older than Jessie, but she was still quite attractive. Jessie tried to avoid noticing this, and reviewed an image of Nama in her head, but it just made her angry.

"Hi, Cake. Who's your friend?"

"This is Jessie. Jessie, this is Charlie."

Jessie nervously shook hands with her. She was wearing a pink skirt and a black sweater, and her hair was tied up in a bun.

"So, what are you doing here?"

It took Jessie a while to realize that Charlie was talking to her. She told her that Cake had invited her somewhere in a park, but she didn't tell the circumstances of her arriving at said park.

"You've been crying," said Charlie, looking worried.

Jessie paused, then looked in the bar mirror and noticed that her mascara had streamed down her face and that her nose was red. She noticed how unattractive she looked.

"Erm, ya, it's because I was lost...." Jessie didn't feel like talking about what had happened with this woman she hardly knew.

"Romantic problems, Charlie," said Cake, winking at her.

"Right! Come on, who was the lucky guy?"

Jessie didn't say anything, and looked down at her feet. She took a small sip of beer.

"Is it a lucky girl, then?" Charlie was smiling now.

"Sort of. She's a bitch, though," said Jessie, and realized how good it felt to say it.

"Oh. Did she do something really bad?"

"I'm not a baby, it wasn't 'really bad'. She just... sort of betrayed me and all." Jessie's eyes welled up with tears at the memory. She tried to hide her face but Charlie had seen her. She leaned over and wiped away the tear that streamed down Jessie's face.

"We've all been through something similar," said Charlie, smiling warmly. Jessie was in no mood for sympathy.

"No, not me. I'm always the one who does the dumping," said Cake, grinning.

Jessie laughed and wiped her face, but she was crying now. She didn't want to be in this public place, and Charlie seemed to understand, because she took her by the arm and brought her upstairs to a room.

"Now, Jessie. I won't laugh. What happened?"

Jessie knew that she didn't know this woman at all, and she didn't know Cake at all either, but somehow Charlie's warm green eyes made her feel a bit better. She slowly related the whole story, starting from the very beginning. The whole time, Charlie stayed very silent.

"You know," she said, when Jessie had finished, "I went through something very like that, but it was with a boy. We were both very young, and we, well, were kind of foolish, but we were in love. And we made a mistake, and it ended up with, well, a kid, actually. And we had to put that kid up for adoption, and my parents disowned me, and so I spend my life in bars with women, because I've realized that men are terrible."

Jessie realized that she was probably lucky to not be pregnant or anything terrible like that, but she was still angry at Nama for betraying her. She started crying again.

"I know, people are terrible," said Charlie, putting her arm around Jessie's shoulders.

Jessie looked up at Charlie, sniffing, and noticed again how pretty she was.

" old are you?"

Charlie looked a bit taken aback at the question, but answered anyways.

"I'm thirty. I had my child probably when I was around your age. But, darling, you're so lucky that you didn't go through what I did... You still have parents who love you." Charlie put her arms around her, and Jessie could hear her sobbing. She uneasily patted her arm.

"Jessie... You, you, you're so beautiful. That Nama of yours doesn't at all deserve you. I don't know how much you love her, but I don't know, I feel like, like I've known you all my life or something, but that's impossible..."

Jessie looked into Charlie's eyes, and realized that she had found her mother.