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At 2am Saturday night, Harmony and I were swinging our legs over the abyss under my fire escape.  

I refused the offered cigarette.   The soft orange glow of hers lit her face every now and then.   The rest of the time we were sitting hidden and comfortable in the dark.   Two creatures of the night.

Not quite, of course.   In fact, I was thinking about the amount of unwitting danger she could be in.   If I were hungry, or if she stopped being entertaining…


“So what’s the deal?”

She startled me out of my reverie.


For a moment her cigarette glowed amber and so did her pupils as they looked at me.

“What’s happened that you’ve been fucking moping over all weekend?   You never gave me any shit about kickboxing this week, you missed at least three chances to publicly take the piss out of Brix on Friday, and you were even kind of polite to the usher at the movies tonight.   Either you’ve been body-snatched, or you got the ‘gonna die in seven days’ phonecall – or there’s something bothering you.   So spill, baby boy.”

“It’s nothing, all right.   Fuck off.”

“Don’t give me that crap.   My family is entirely composed of deadbeats and habitual liars – ‘nothing’s wrong’ is red rag to a bullshit.   It’s about time you fucking shared something, anyway…”


What the hell was it this week?   Someone slipped fucking truth serum into my bloody snaplock breakfast bag?

“I ran into someone I didn’t want to see, all right?   We were friends, I fucked off on him without a word, and he was beyond furious about it.”

“Why did you do it?”

“It was easier.”

“Gonna do that to me sooner or later?”

No wonder the bloody oracles were fucking batty.   Truth-telling is addictive.

“Probably.”   (Or worse…)


Her face was thoughtful in the brief warm ember light.

“Then I’ll probably live with it, and hate you for it.”

“Probably.   But at least you’ll live.”

(Fuck.   Where did that come from?)

She heard.   I know she heard.   But the cigarette was spent and the darkness unrelenting, and I couldn’t make out an expression.


“Why do you care?”


“If this is a regular thing, why do you care?   What the fuck does it matter about having a run in with this friend?”


And it fucking demanded to be said.   Truth or dare, Jonathon.



“He reminds me of someone.   Someone who died, all right?”



Secrets always fall out easier in the dark.


“My brother.”





  1. Doesn’t it seem as though all words fall out easier in the dark? Lies and secrets both. Of course, the secrets are more surprising from you. One must be careful of who is listening.

  2. Human emotions, Jonathon? I’m only a little surprised.

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