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| B E V  A N D  R E D |
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     The two sat at Red's dining room table, both picking at their plates, while silence once again, filled the air

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The two sat at Red's dining room table, both picking at their plates, while silence once again, filled the air. But what could Red say? What could Beverly say? They'd only met a few hours ago, when Beverly tried to initiate conversation, but was rejected by Red.

"Why're you helping me?" The question was whispered into the thick air, and Beverly almost regretted asking it.

"I think that I . . . I think that I knew your father. When I was in jail." Red was reluctant to answer, but the last thing he needed was for him to be hiding something from Beverly. Just when the two could be starting to talk.

This spiked Beverly's attention. "Are you serious? When was this?"

"Back in two-thousand-fourteen."

     Beverly's heart squeezed. He couldn't believe that anyone he knew had ever had direct contact with his father—expect for Nana Gloria, of course. "Did he, uh—did he ever talk about me?"

     Red stopped picking at his dinner for a moment, "all the time."

     After they finished their meals, Beverly stood, offering to clean their plates, and when Red didn't put up a fight, he spent the next twenty-something minutes in Red's kitchen.

     By the time he'd finished, the bottom of his t-shirt was soaked, and that alone was enough to ruin his mood that already been downsized due to Miss Willa's actions.

     His feet padded their way over to Red's bedroom, halting at his doorway. He was afraid. But he still couldn't understand why. Even if Red somehow in his mind—thought he wasn't a good guy. He'd been nothing but kind to Beverly.

     Red had opened doors for him, he'd showed him to where he'd be staying, and he'd even fed him. How good could a guy get?

     Beverly knocked, his breathing suddenly irregular.

     Red reached behind him, removing his t-shirt by the back of its neck. But he paused, while hearing a faint knock at his bedrooms door. "R-Red, can I take a shower?"

     The door was abruptly pulled open, startling Beverly. He laughed nervously at the sight of Red's bare chest, and shirt in hand. "Why are you asking me if you can take a shower?"

     "W-Well, I wasn't sure if—"

     "Just take a shower . . ." It was then that Red realized he hadn't learned the young boy's name.



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