Part Fifty-TwoMature

"You've never seen Dan cry, have you?" He asks, and I shake my head. "He cried a lot when it happened. I knew how upset he was 'cause normally when I ask him questions, he answers them or says he doesn't want to. But after it happened he'd just get violent and shout at me... I'd never seen him cry before. But he says I need to get over it. And he's my brother, so I should listen to him, right?"

Judo's eyes search my face for an answer, but I respond with my own question.

"Did Daniel tell you the full story?"

"No," he says, as though it's completely right. "He only told me they got shot. Nothing else. I don't know how it happened or anything..."

"Judo... that's really unfair. He needs to consider how you feel. You have a right to know."

"No. Well... it's worse for Tobias. His brother died too. Dan wouldn't let me talk to him about it and his family don't like to talk about it either so he's had to cope on his own. But Dan says it's for the best so... that makes it's OK, right?" He says all this desperately, as if it's his last excuse. 

"Judo," I almost beg him, struggling to find a way to make him understand. "You're allowed to tell Daniel what you really think. And make your own decisions. You don't have to just do what he says all the time."

He hesitates. "Lola, can I ask you something?"

"Go on."

His eyes flick down to where our hands rest on my knee, still holding each other tightly. "Dan says that when I as you stuff, I'm being really intrusive and insensitive. , and he says I ask you too many questions. He says I should back off 'cause you don't like it. Is... that true?"

I frown, thinking. "No, it's not true, and I don't know why he'd say that. Judo, I don't mind that you ask me questions. In fact, sometimes I quite like it." Then I smile to back it up. 

But I'm confused. Judo is the most lovely, genuine person I have ever met, and I don't see any reason Daniel may have for making him feel the way he has done.

The End

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