He walked the dusty road just as he always did.  Only, today he thought everyone was watching him; that everybody knew his secret.  Even old man Johannes, with his two white cataracts seemed to eyeball him more intently than ever this morning.  Or was the slight cock in the grandpa’s head his way of saying that the footsteps crunching on the stones and sand were slightly different today.  Steps betraying feeling of guilt and fear.  Were his steps longer and deeper than usual?  Did he put more weight into each step?  He imagined it was so.  His shoulders felt heavy.  His brain felt like it was swelling painfully against the inside of his skull.  His breathing felt more laboured than usual.  He looked up and along the road.  Nothing looked different.  School kids dotted it, ambling in groups.  He was the only loner.  He always had been.  No friends.  Ever.  Of course, he would be the first person suspected when they found her body.  Whenever anything went wrong, he was always the first to get the blame.  They would come for him.  They would haul him out of the classroom and interrogate him harshly.  And he would tell them everything.  They would not believe a single word he said, of course, but so what.  No matter what he said, the outcome would be the same.


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