“I’m mad at you,” Maya said.
“Why?” Mitch asked.
“You didn’t tell me you were helping Monroe. I trusted you.”
“I didn’t tell you because I didn’t want you to get hurt. I tried to give you as much as I could to lead you to him without him knowing it was me. If he knew it was me, I thought he’d get to you.”
“Yeah, but you were the only reason I came here. I did it for you, Mitchell.”
“I know. And it was a huge favor and I’m really grateful.”
“So why didn’t you tell me how you’d come by the information you sent me?”
“I wanted you to stay out of it. I didn’t want you to get hurt.”
“Get hurt? You knew I’d get to the bottom of this thing.”
“Well yeah, but Maya—”
“And you knew I’d go wherever the trail led.”
“So why on earth wouldn’t that end up in Monroe’s cave?”
He waited. “Are you done?”
“I didn’t think it would go that far. I thought you’d find a way to it before he found his way to you. I thought we could expose him together after that. And I certainly didn’t expect you to show up at the Speakeasy.”
“No such thing as a gentlemen’s club anymore, Mitch.”
“I know. Look, I’m sorry okay. Will you stay?”
“Do you have any more secrets?” she asked. “Because I cannot emphasize how much I hate secrets.”
“No more secrets.”
She eyed him.
“Okay, I hate chocolate mint ice cream and I preferred your hair when it was pink.”
She smiled. “That’s it?”
“And sometimes when I’m nervous, I burp a lot.”
“You asked,” he said and smirked a very tired smirk.
“What happened to Lee?” Maya asked.
“Probably had something to do with that conversation you said you had with the Reverend,” Mitch said. “Sounded like that guy and Thulani understood this whole thing more than even I did.”
“He just kept saying he delivers the afflicted by their affliction. Lee was sick – think that had something to do with it?”
“No clue,” Mitch said and took another sip. “Honestly, at this point I think I need to reevaluate my historical method. What constitutes a historical fact? I’m probably not the best person to ask.”
“But it’s okay now,” the little girl said.
“It’s all better now,” she said. “We all are all better.”
“That’s true,” Maya said and wondered what all the girl remembered and whether she knew she had a child and if having a whole extra life to live was always the best option. Maybe it was good that her father had died. Maybe it was the best – to be away from the body. “Better all the time.”
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brought to you by the Joplin Convention & Visitors Bureau
photographed & directed by Mark Neuenschwander
written & directed by Lance Schaubert
produced by Carrie Puffinbarger