We recently published Lisa Alletson’s heartrending “Perfect.”

Here, we ask her two questions about her story:

1) Mia’s relationship with her mother is so painful, even in the bits and pieces we readers witness. Do you think, after, her mother has any regrets?

Even as Mia spends years distancing herself from her mother, she is also turning into her. After, I think her mother is shocked, but her narcissism prevents her from having regrets. She has no idea how her own behaviour impacted her daughter’s life choices.

2) I love that moment in the second section, when Mia is ” holding [the narrator’s] body tighter with each passing city and year.” What do you think Mia is clinging to here, that she must hold on tighter and tighter?

As the years pass, Mia increasingly courts risk and danger in her life. The narrator consistently represents stability and safety. She witnessed Mia’s mother’s behaviour from an early age, and still stuck around for her friend. Mia is accustomed to others gravitating to her, and in turn, she gravitates towards the narrator; the comfortable object. Like keeping a childhood stuffy in your pocket as you age. Clinging tighter to it the more scared you get.