Part Twelve

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He went home and thought about what he had done. What if it were true? What if her sister's life hung in the balance?

Careful not to wake his mother, he went to the storage closet and rummaged to the back. He found the box he wanted, but it was empty.

He heard his mother's voice, "I've been cleaning them all day." He found her in the dining room, polishing his father's armor.

His mother frowned. "I don't like that girl. Do you love her?"

"I don't know," he answered. "I'm not sure I can trust her."

"Well, if you love her, you kinda have to."

"Even if she asks me to do something stupid?"

"Especially then." His mother tossed him the cleaning cloth. "Here. You can finish." She got up to leave, but paused under the arc of her bedroom doorway. She stood in shadow. She said to her son, "Tomorrow has nothing for you. Love now. Love today."

She glanced over at her son's drawing hanging on the wall, and its rough memorial of her husband's gentle smile. She turned and went to bed.

He sighed and looked at the armor. He wondered.

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