I like taking her picture. Sure, it's worth a lot of money, sure, it's sort of in the job description, but it's more than that. Everyone hates the paparazzi except for the magazines. And even they pretend to hate us. Jean, for whatever reason, doesn't. She likes us. She let us have interviews, she drinks coffee with us. She makes small talk. I don't think she's ever put her hand in front of her face in a picture. And we give our pictures to magazines, fully aware of how they'll spin them. Fully aware that one fluke of a picture can ruin her forever. I'm beginning to see why people don't like us.

"Hey, it's my favorite shutterbug." She says to me, laughing, as I approach. I snap a picture, and we both ignore it. It's easier that way. We're meeting for lunch, she didn't ask me not to take my camera. She never does. I wonder if it'll bother her when she sees the pictures I take today in a cheap gossip rag tomorrow. I wonder what she sees in us. We sit at a small table, and she signs a few autographs.

"I love your movies." The waitress gushes. I take a picture of Jean again, just for something to do. Of course she loves Jean's movies. Everyone does, because she plays the abuse victims so well. Too well, if anyone ever bothered to think about it. Jean orders a garden salad and a large coffee, I get clam chowder and a soda.

"More coffee? You had a cup on the way over." I remark, in what should be a casual tone.

"Hey, I like my caffeine!" She laughs, and her nose crinkles up. I take a picture, because I like how she looks when she's guilty for no good reason. We talk for a while. She discusses her new movie, her daughter, how excited she is about buying herself a wedding dress. She wants it to be blue.

"That's a bit nontraditional." I sniff, stirring at the dregs of my soup.

"I'm a bit non-traditional" she shrugs. She moves to pay the check, and her sleeve goes up just enough to show off a new bruise. She withdraws it, and tries to laugh. It sounds like she's suffocating. She coughs.

"I'll never leave him." I take a picture.

"I know" Isn't it funny how the one story that's true is the one I'll never tell anyone?

Maybe that's why I'm not so bad.

Of course, maybe that makes me worse.