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Nadirah Foxx  

Frisky Friday Flash Fiction

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Happy Friday, I think… This past week was hard. Hard to focus. Hard to feel hopeful. Last year, I felt like I was living out another author’s apocalyptic tale. This month, so far, has felt like the sequel. Here’s praying for a little normalcy to return to our country and way of living sooner than later.

I did get some happy news. My hubby might be back at work next month! He hasn’t worked since the first week of March last year. Our family has definitely felt the pinch.

More good news! The anthology I’m in, Goodbye Doesn’t Mean Forever, is now ready for early reviewers! Anyone who wishes to do so, click on the button. Be sure to use the subject line: GDMF ARC.

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Are you ready for another installment of The Secrets We Keep?

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The Secrets We Keep

Part Twenty-Seven

 

Casinda

I knocked once on the bathroom door and then opened it. Tiago stood in the middle of the floor, naked as the day he was born. It wasn’t the first time I’d spied it that way. 

“Couldn’t wait?” He reached for a towel.

“No.” I stepped closer and lowered my voice. “We need to leave.”

His eyebrows shot up. “What’s happened?”

“Paul wants to place you in witness protection.”

“And you?”

“If I testify, same thing.” I leaned against the counter. “We can’t go together.”

“So testifying means we split up,” he stated. “That’s not happening, Cassie.”

“Agreed. We have to get out of here. Go someplace and put this behind us.” Honestly, I had no idea where we should go. “We’ll need to assume new identities.”

Tiago slipped on his underwear and then a pair of jeans. “We should go before the D.A. gets here.”

“No. Let’s turn over the evidence–”

“Fuck the evidence, Cassie.” He tugged on a long-sleeved thermal T-shirt. “If we talk to the D.A., he’ll insist on testifying. Where’s your friend?”

“Paul was in the kitchen.”

“We need money.” Tiago lowered the lid on the toilet, sat down, and put on his sneakers. “Do you have your debit card?”

“Yeah.”

He bobbed his head up and down. “Okay, here’s what we’ll do. You tell lover boy that we need to go into town for supplies. Make up some shit. Say we’ll be back within the hour.”

“Okay.”

“We’ll take his car. We buy whatever we think we’ll need and then drain your account.” Tiago lowered his foot. “We get bus tickets and head out.”

“The closest town with transportation is Utica. We could get take Amtrak to Syracuse.”

He smiled. “Canada. That’s the goal. Leave this country and start over.”

My stomach quivered slightly. 

What if our plan was the wrong move? What if walking away only made the situation worse? The glow in Tiago’s eyes, however, told me the risk might be worth it. I couldn’t imagine not seeing him regularly. 

“Let me speak with Paul. He might be able to delay the D.A. for a bit.”

#

Minutes later, I sat across from him in the kitchen. My mouth was as dry as a desert, and I was as nauseous as hell. My heart wouldn’t stop pounding.

“Is something wrong, Casinda?”

“No, no,” I lied. “Tiago is a very independent person. He enjoys doing things for himself.”

“What does he want?”

“Just to pick up some grooming supplies. He’d rather smell like himself and not you.”

Paul chuckled. “There’s a Dollar General off Route 7. I could drive—”

I shook my head. “That won’t work. Tiago doesn’t trust you. I’ll take him. We can be back within the hour.”

Paul tilted his head and pressed his lips into a thin line. After a few seconds, he reached into his pocket and removed a set of keys. “Be careful, Casinda. The roads can be slick this time of year.”

The key fob felt like a weight in my palm. Maybe it was just my guilt weighing on me. Mentally, I reminded myself that I was doing this for Tiago. He was my best friend, and I couldn’t lose him. Deep down, if the truth be told, I didn’t want to lose Paul either.

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Forcing a smile, I said, “Thanks, Paul. You’ve been really great about this whole thing.”

“I should thank you. Dragging these bastards out of hiding and tossing them in jail will help my career and the city. None of this would happen if it weren’t for you.”

Way to make me feel guilty…

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