mean it,” he said. “I would.” He paused again, then said, “You know how I said my brother called me that time about all the money he was making ripping off cars in Detroit?”
“That was bullshit. Remember how I said he called to tell me about fucking redheaded twins while he was out in Minnesota?”
After a moment I nodded again.
“That was bullshit too. It was always bullshit. He never called.” Eddie took a long breath, which shuddered just slightly on the inhale. “I don’t know where he’s at, or what he’s doing. He only called me once, while he was still in the Juvie. Two days before he broke out. He didn’t sound right. He was trying not to cry. He said never do anything that will get you in here. He made me promise. He said they try and make you faggot in there. There’s all these Boston niggers who act faggot, and they gang up on you. And then he disappeared and no one knows what happened to him. But I think if he was okay somewhere he would’ve called by now. Me and him were tight. He wouldn’t just make me wonder. And I know my brother, and he wouldn’t want to be someone’s faggot.” He was crying by now, soundlessly. He swiped at his cheeks with the sleeve of his sweatshirt, and then fixed his fierce, watery stare on me. He said, “And I’m not going to Juvie over some stupid accident that wasn’t even my fault. No one’s going to turn me homo. I already had something like that happen to me once. That fucking smelly shit, my mother’s fucking Tennessee shithead—” He broke off, tore his gaze away, gasping slightly.