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See Me(4)
Author: Nicholas Sparks

“Because people don’t always want the truth. Like when your girlfriend asks if a particular outfit makes her look fat, you should tell her she looks beautiful.”

“I don’t have a girlfriend.”

“That’s probably because you told the last one she looked fat without adding the beautiful part.”

“That’s not what happened.”

“You get my point, though. Sometimes, you need to… stretch the truth to get along with people.”


“Because that’s what normal people do. That’s the way society works. You can’t just tell people whatever pops into your mind. It makes them uncomfortable or hurts their feelings. And just so you know, employers hate it.”


“You don’t believe me?”

“I believe you.”

“But you don’t care.”


“Because you’d rather tell the truth.”



“It’s what I’ve learned works for me.”

Evan stayed silent for a moment. “Sometimes I wish I could be more like that. Just tell my boss what I really think of him without caring about the consequences.”

“You can. You choose not to.”

“I need the paycheck.”

“That’s an excuse.”

“Maybe.” Evan shrugged. “But it’s what I’ve learned works for me. Sometimes lying is necessary. For instance, if I told you that I saw a couple of roaches under the table while you were in the bathroom, you might feel the same way about eating here that I do.”

“You know you don’t have to stay, right? I’ll be okay.”

“So you say.”

“You need to worry about yourself, not me. And besides, it’s getting late. Aren’t you heading to Raleigh with Lily tomorrow?”

“First thing in the morning. We’ll go to service at eleven with my parents, and have brunch right afterwards. But unlike you, I won’t have any trouble getting out of bed tomorrow morning. You look terrible, by the way.”


“Your eye, especially.”

“It won’t be as swollen tomorrow.”

“Your other one. I think you popped a few blood vessels. Either that, or you’re actually a vampire.”

“I noticed that.”

Evan leaned back, spreading his arms slightly. “Do me a favor, okay? Keep yourself hidden from the neighbors tomorrow. I’d hate for them to think I had to get rough on you for being late on the rent or whatever. I don’t want to get a bad reputation as a landlord.”

Colin smiled. He outweighed Evan by at least thirty pounds, and he liked to joke that if Evan had ever set foot in a gym, it was probably to conduct an audit.

“I promise to stay out of sight,” Colin offered.

“Good. Considering my reputation and all.”

Just then, the waitress came by, dropping off a plate loaded with scrambled egg whites and ham, along with a gelatinous bowl of oatmeal. As Colin pulled the bowl closer, he glanced at Evan’s mug.

“What are you drinking?”

“Hot water with lemon.”


“It’s past midnight. If I had coffee, I’d be up all night.”

Colin scooped a bit of oatmeal into his mouth before swallowing. “Okay.”

“What? No snide comment?”

“I’m just surprised they have lemon here.”

“And I’m surprised they do scrambled egg whites. You’re probably the first person in history who’s ever even attempted to eat a healthy meal here.” He reached for his water. “By the way, what are you planning to do tomorrow?”

“I have to change the ignition switch in my car. It’s not starting the way it should. After that, I’ll do the lawn and then hit the gym.”

“Do you want to come with us?”

“Brunch isn’t really my thing.”

“I wasn’t inviting you to brunch. I doubt they’d even let you in the country club looking the way you do. But you could see your parents in Raleigh. Or your sisters. It’s on the way to Chapel Hill.”


“I just thought I’d ask.”

Colin scooped a spoonful of oatmeal. “Don’t.”

Evan leaned back in his seat. “There were a few great fights tonight, by the way. The one after yours was awesome.”


“A guy named Johnny Reese had a submission in the first round. Took the guy down like a stud, maneuvered him into a choke hold, and it was lights out. The dude moves like a cat.”

“Your point is?”

“He’s way better than you.”


Evan drummed his fingers on the table. “So… are you okay with how your fight went tonight?”

“It’s over.”

Evan waited. “And?”

“That’s it.”

“Do you still think that what you’re doing is a good idea? I mean… you know.”

Colin scooped a bite of eggs onto his fork. “I’m still here with you, aren’t I?”

Half an hour later, Colin was back on the highway. The clouds that had been threatening a storm for the last few hours finally obliged, releasing a torrent of wind and rain punctuated by lightning and thunder. Evan had left a few minutes before Colin did, and as Colin settled in behind the wheel of the Camaro he’d been restoring over the last few years, he found his thoughts drifting to his friend.

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