My freshman year of college, I was assigned to a quad. There were four girls jammed into a space meant for two people, and before long we became known as a collective: Room 208. We don’t see each other too often anymore, but whenever we do cross paths I can instantly feel the bonds of our shared past and friendship. We went through the trials of early adulthood together, and like blood, it sealed something between us. In the new issue of One Story, “Girls Only,” Karen Shepard delves deep into the mystery of college friendships, when a group of old roommates—reunited for a wedding—unravels after a hidden secret comes to the surface. This is a tale about collective guilt and responsibility, about the lies people will tell themselves to keep looking in the mirror each day. The crime that inspired “Girls Only,” which Karen Shepard reveals in her Q&A with us, is shocking and not for the faint of heart. But it is how that initial seed of an idea was altered, cultivated and grown into a story that reveals Shepard’s tremendous talent as a writer and observer of the human condition. Already, One Story has been receiving messages from people touched by “Girls Only,” and the complicated issues of self-deception it lays bare with skillful humor and brutal honesty. I’ve been an admirer of Karen Shepard’s work for years, and it’s an honor to welcome her into the One Story family. Like Room 208, I have a feeling she’d have my back in a fight, and if I called for help she would come running.