***

"Knock, knock."

Mary walked into Michael's room that night without waiting for a response to her verbal knocking. Michael flipped over in his bed and closed his laptop, furrowing his brow as his sister perched herself on the edge of his mattress.

"Can I help you?"

"I think this is dangerous." Mary admitted, "If we look into what Eddie and the others knew, we risk them finding out about what we know. What we did."

"You're the one who suggested this all-on-the-table thing, Mar." Michael replied, "I don't know what you're getting so worked up about."

Mary's eyes grew huge as she stared at her brother in disbelief.

"You don't know what I'm getting so worked up about? Michael, they'll find out. About that night."

"Maybe." Michael nodded, "But if I come clean and tell them up front, then they won't think anything of it. They won't suspect me because I was honest."

"That's an awful idea." Mary shook her head, "You are not to tell them about anything, do you understand me? Anything you say could backfire on you. It's not worth the risk."

Michael rolled his eyes.

"Whatever, Mar. I'll make my own decisions when it comes to this stuff, thank you very much." He stood up and pulled his sister up by her arm, "Now if you'll excuse me, I have some work to do before school tomorrow."

He closed the door behind Mary and sat down on his bed again, opening up his laptop and taking a few deep breaths. No one needed to know what went on with him on that night, but at the same time, he didn't want to make himself a suspect by keeping it a secret.

Michael began to work on his homework before he heard a buzz coming from the direction of his phone. He turned over, silently hating himself for being so easily distracted from schoolwork that was due in the morning, and picked up the phone.

He had a new text message from an unknown number, except instead of listing the number at the top of the screen, it simply said, "Unknown". Michael unlocked his phone and looked at the message.

Furrowing his brow, Michael typed out a quick response

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Furrowing his brow, Michael typed out a quick response.

He set his phone down and had been looking at his homework for less than twenty seconds before a reply came in

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He set his phone down and had been looking at his homework for less than twenty seconds before a reply came in.

Michael felt an involuntary shiver go down his spine as he took a few deep breaths, silently praying that this was all a prank and that no one besides Mary and a dead girl knew his actual secret

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Michael felt an involuntary shiver go down his spine as he took a few deep breaths, silently praying that this was all a prank and that no one besides Mary and a dead girl knew his actual secret.

Michael felt an involuntary shiver go down his spine as he took a few deep breaths, silently praying that this was all a prank and that no one besides Mary and a dead girl knew his actual secret

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A reply came within moments.

Michael heaved a quick sigh of relief

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Michael heaved a quick sigh of relief. Hopefully whoever had sent that message had been playing a practical joke on him and their mother had taken their phone away before it went too much further. That made the most sense. No one could possibly know about what happened that night, and no one could possibly have heard him discussing it with Mary just a few minutes prior.

None of the fears circling around in the football player's subconscious were practical or possible in any way.

None of the fears circling around in the football player's subconscious were practical or possible in any way

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