She’d been going by Julius since the previous October, when a man cornered her after AA to ask how she got a name like Juke. 

Before, she’d have explained that Juke was short for Jukebox, a nickname her daddy had given her, and when asked why Jukebox, she’d tell the usual lie—that it was because she was always singing as a little girl. Instead, she renamed herself on the spot.

Actually, she said, I’d rather you called me Julius. 

It was interesting, lying less. Julius chalked up the change to a fight she’d had, a couple of weeks before the meeting, with a woman she’d been seeing, Ilyana. They’d broken up soon after—Julius had sent a text, Look, this isn’t working out and you deserve better—but that October they were still in the thick of it, blots of blood in an egg yolk, and Ilyana was finding out what it meant to date Julius. 

So it turns out everything that comes out your mouth is fucking bullshit, she said.