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Alex hated being lost. Honestly, he should know his way around, after living here for three years. But nooo. He squeezed through the crowd.
“Excuse me,” an elderly woman called. “Have you seen my grandson? He ran ahead. . .”
“No, sorry.” He moved on. A few streets later, a little boy ran up to him.
“Hey! Hey, have you seen my brother? Toby has brown hair, like me. . .”
“No,” said Alex. Eight more people asked about a Toby on his way home.
“Sir, have you-”
“I’m going to be late. . . let me through, please.” Then, when he made it past a particularly thick group, he saw the street sign. Good- it was only a block from here. Alex quickened his pace.
“Could you keep an eye out. . .”
“Please, he has brown hair and eyes. . .”
“It would just take a moment. . .” They grew more desperate the closer he got. Finally, he made it to the house. Alex sighed in relief, shaking his head, glad to be inside.
“How did it go?”
“Not so well,” Alex admitted to his friend, as he dropped, exhausted, on the couch. “They know you’re staying here. . .but they can’t get a search warrant. They’ve resorted to disguises.” The boy next to him sighed.
“At least they’re getting desperate. Maybe they’ll give up soon...?”
“Toby,” he said seriously, “They’ll give up when they catch the real guy.”
Toby moaned. “I won’t have to move again, will I? I was hoping for a few more weeks, at the least.” Instead of answering, Alex walked to the kitchen.
“Did you eat yet?”
“Don’t change the subject.” Toby grumpily caught the orange Alex tossed. “I liked it here. . . The last place was an apartment, no room at all. The one before that. . . Why are they looking for me? It’s not my fault he looks as handsome as I do.” He laughed humorlessly. “I can’t handle much more of this. Don’t make me move again.”
“Should I just turn myself in? Then will they see I’m innocent?”
“Toby, those vigilantes wouldn’t see common sense if it slapped them in the face,” Alex said, and turned the radio on to prove it.
“. . . and the police are still searching, after four years! How much longer can this go on? And all for attempted murder on the governor of North Dakota.”
“Well, that was unexpected,” his cohost replied. “I heard before the fiasco, the two were friends.”
“No, they had a school rivalry. Just goes to show you can’t trust anybody.”
Toby reached across the counter and turned it back off. He sighed. “Just one more week here?”
“Yeah,” Alex smiled. “Just one more week.”