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By John Tavares

Melissa turned and glared at Ed through her tortoise-shell sunglasses. “I want you to keep your eyes and hands off my sister,” she said. She took a drag on her cigarillo. “My sister is a beautiful young woman. And she’s innocent and vulnerable, and she also happens to be gullible.”

“I can’t believe what you’re saying,” Ed said.

“I know how you can be around women.”

“How can I be?”

“A pig.” She took another puff from her cigarillo and looked at him. It was an expression she gave him when they had reached an epiphany or moment of truth in their relationship, or when he asked her a particularly obvious question.

“Forget it,” she said. “It’s over and done. You couldn’t have used the photographs anyway.”

“Yes I could.”

She lit another cigarillo.

“Let’s forget it,” he replied. “I don’t want to talk about it anymore. It makes me miserable just thinking about it. It makes me feel like going into grief.”

John Tavares lives in Sioux Lookout, Ontario.

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