Home > See Me(17)

See Me(17)
Author: Nicholas Sparks

“In the storm?”


“Did you know her?”


“Then why did you stop?”

“Because I thought she might need my help.”

Margolis considered Colin’s answer, no doubt thinking that Colin had been caught in a mistake. “How could you know she might need help unless you’d already stopped?”

“I saw she needed a hand getting the tire out. I stopped and got out of the car. I offered to help. She said no at first. She asked if she could borrow my phone and call her sister. I let her use my phone and she called her sister. And then she asked for my help in changing her tire. I changed it. Then I got in my car and drove straight home.”

“What time was this?”

“I don’t know. But a call was made from my phone from the woman to her sister. If you’d like, I’ll show you my call log.”

“By all means.”

Colin reached into his back pocket and pulled out his phone; a few taps and the call log was on display, confirming his alibi. He showed it to Margolis.

Margolis took out his pad and made a point to slowly jot the number down. No doubt it was right around the time of the brawl, because his biceps flexed again. “How do I know that’s the number for the lady’s sister?”

“You don’t.”

“But you’re fine if I call and check.”

“Do what you want. It’s your time that you’ll be wasting.”

Margolis’s eyes narrowed slightly. “You think you’re pretty smart, don’t you?”


“Oh yeah you do. But you know what? You’re not.”

Colin didn’t answer, and for a long moment, they continued to stare at each other. Margolis grabbed his coffee again and circled back to the driver’s-side door. “I’m going to check this out, you know. Because you and I both know that you don’t belong on the streets. A guy like you? How many people have you sent to the hospital over the years? You’re violent, and while you think you can control it forever, you can’t. And when that happens, I’m going to be there. And I’ll be the first one to say, ‘I told you so.’ ”

A moment later, the sedan was pulling away, Colin watching until it finally vanished around the corner.

“What was that about?”

Colin turned around and spotted Evan on the porch. Already dressed for work, his friend stepped down and started up the walk.

“The usual.”

“What was it this time?”

“Fight at the Crazy Horse.”


“When I was with you. Or driving or changing a tire.”

“I might be your alibi this time?”

“I doubt it. He knows it wasn’t me or he would have brought me in and questioned me at the station.”

“Then why the big show?”

Colin shrugged. It was a rhetorical question, since they both already knew the answer. Colin motioned toward his friend.

“Isn’t that the tie Lily bought for your birthday?”

Evan looked down to examine it. It was paisley, a kaleidoscope of color. “Yes it is, as a matter of fact. Good memory. What do you think? Too much?”

“It doesn’t matter what I think.”

“But you don’t like it.”

“I think that if you want to wear it, you should wear it.”

Evan seemed momentarily undecided. “Why do you do that?”

“Do what?”

“Refuse to answer a simple question.”

“Because my opinion is irrelevant. You should wear what you want.”

“Just tell me, okay?”

“I don’t like your tie.”

“Really? Why not?”

“Because it’s ugly.”

“It’s not ugly.”

Colin nodded. “Okay.”

“You don’t know what you’re talking about.”


“You don’t even wear ties.”

“You’re right.”

“So why do I care what you think?”

“I don’t know.”

Evan scowled. “Talking to you can be infuriating, you know.”

“I know. You’ve said that before.”

“Of course I’ve said it before! Because it’s true! Didn’t we just talk about this the other night? You don’t have to say whatever pops into your head.”

“But you asked.”

“Just… Oh, forget it.” He turned and started back toward the house. “I’ll talk to you later, okay?”

“Where are you going?”

Evan walked a couple of steps before answering without turning around. “To change my damn tie. And by the way, Margolis was right. Your face still looks like it was run through a meat grinder.”

Colin smiled. “Hey, Evan!”

Evan stopped and turned. “What?”


“For what?”

“For everything.”

“Yeah, yeah. You’re just lucky I won’t tell Lily what you said.”

“You can if you’d like. I already told her.”

Evan stared. “Of course you did.”

In class, Colin sat in the third row, taking notes and trying to concentrate on what the teacher was saying. The class focused on language and literacy development, and in the first few weeks of school, he’d been of two minds about it: first, thinking that most of what the professor was saying struck him as common sense, which made him wonder what he’d gain from being there; and second, that there might be some as-yet unknown advantage to quantifying common sense into some sort of cohesive classroom strategy so he’d be able to put together formal lesson plans. The only problem was that the professor – a neurotic middle-aged woman with a singsong voice – tended to wander from one subject to the next, which made paying attention somewhat difficult.

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