She took me to one of the finest restaurants in town.  Fortunately, I had interpreted “dress nice” to mean a dress shirt and good pants.  I tried wine and didn’t like it.  Lil didn’t mind buying tequila shots, and soon we were both laughing.

I told her some of the things I had said and done at pub that first drunken night, including my alternate reality theory.  She laughed at that.

“Why would you ever talk to me there?”  I asked.  “I was such a jackass.”

“I don’t like to waste an opportunity when I see one.  I didn’t know if I would ever see you again.  And I didn’t need to talk to you long to give you my number.”

“I guess that let me successfully avoid embarrassing myself further.  I heard I was pretty friendly that night, I’m sure it wouldn’t have been hard for you to get close to me.”

“You don’t need to be embarrassed with me.” She said.  “I’d like you to be comfortable saying anything.”

“That’s nice of you to say.”

“It’s also true.”  She smiled.

“There is something I need advice about.”  I said.


“I learned something about a friend of mine.  I don’t know what to do about it, and can’t tell anyone at school because he’s there.”

“I’m listening.”  She said seriously.

I told her about Dan, leaving out his name.  I shared my fears about his family, and also his cheating on Teri.  She sat, listening intently, letting me finish.

“So, I don’t know what to think.”  I said finally.

“Why think anything?” She asked.

“What do you mean?  It sounds to me like he’s cheating on his girlfriend, and his father is a molesting abuser.”

“But how is that your problem?” She said.  “He’s working hard lately to improve his relationship with his girlfriend, and he’s far away from his family.  He’s demonstrating commitment now, even if he didn’t before.  Even if what he said was true, and not just drunken rambling, why interfere?”

She paused to sip some water and then continued.

“You tell her and you could ruin his chance at fixing things, and if he screws around again, it’s her responsibility to see through him.”

“But what about honesty?”

“Are you going to enforce it?  Be the truth police?  Walk around and tell everyone to reveal their secrets?  Are you always one hundred percent honest?”

I thought about that for a long time.

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