This isn’t the way it was supposed to be. Instead of you and the collection, fear is my companion. It’s settled itself somewhere between my stomach and lungs, often reaching its tentacles through to my fingertips, other times lurking in place, robbing me of the ability to take a full breath or swallow even the smallest morsel of food.

As I sit here on this unforgiving bench in the Montgomery County Courthouse waiting for the lunch recess to end, I close my eyes and imagine that after today’s session, I’ll head back to my little house and you’ll be there to pour us a glass of wine – just as you were supposed to be that last night. We’ll share a cigarette and laugh together at the absurdity of the prosecution’s opening statement, the idiocy of the accusations.

B.A. Shapiro is the New York Times bestselling author of The Muralist, The Art Forger, The Safe Room, Blind Spot, See No Evil, Blameless and Shattered Echoes. She has also written four screenplays and the non-fiction book, The Big Squeeze. The Art Forger has been on many bestseller lists (NY Times, Boston Globe, LA Times, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Amazon, Kindle) and won many awards including the 2013 New England Book Award for Fiction. Shapiro holds a PhD in sociology and has directed research projects for a residential substance abuse facility, worked as a systems analyst/statistician, headed the Boston office of a software development firm, and served as an adjunct professor teaching sociology at Tufts University and creative writing at Northeastern University. She lives in Boston with her husband and dog, Sagan.

B.A. Shapiro Fiction Writer

Boston, MA