I was taller and also stronger than Luke, so I went first through the window into Kate’s kitchen. I’d done it a couple of other times, when Kate and I had gotten ourselves locked out. Outside, Luke’s boots frantically scraped the brick wall. He called out, “Tim, Tim, come on, help me, man,” and I thought, If this doesn’t bring the cops . . .

I stuck my head out the window. Luke was clutching the sill, his fingers white, his eyes practically popping out of his skull. I grabbed both his wrists and pulled. He was so skinny he came through all at once, and I fell back and landed hard enough on my butt to rattle a cat dish sitting at the base of the sink. I listened for voices, the neighbors coming to the door to see what the hell was going on. We were lucky the building was full of Lincoln Park singles sleeping heavily after another night of barhopping. Luke stood looking down at me, his teeth gleaming faintly in the dark. He was smiling. “Yes, sir, we are in,” he said. “Hard part’s over.”

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