the lie

“No,” I lied. My eyes dropped. “I’m sorry,” I added quickly. “Friend’s shouldn’t lie to each other.”

“Never,” she agreed.

“A man who calls himself Mr. King approached me,” I told her. “He said I did him a favor when I saw your brother.”

The expression on Mary’s face turned serious.

“Johnny, you must promise to never talk to Mr. King,” she said.

“Why?”

“I need you to promise,” Mary continued. “Please, don’t ask me to explain. Even speaking about him puts us in danger!”

“OK,” I said.

“Promise!”

“I promise,” I agreed. “I told him to fuck off.”

Mary started to smile, but stopped herself. “Don’t underestimate him,” she warned. “He’s tricky. If you let him, he’ll get in your head.”

I nodded that I understood, but of course, I did not really understand. How could I?

 

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