A vignette from 'Mike' in Corner Confessions
In an effort to get the conversation moving and hopefully have Mike become less nervous, Steph smiled and asked, “Well, what finally got you into this coffee shop after your half hour long decision-making process?”
“Have you ever seen anyone die?” Mike asked curtly while leaning into the table and stared intently at Steph.
Steph instantly sat up a bit straighter, cleared her throat and stated, “I think this would be a good time to go over my disclaimer and make sure you understand it, and everyone is on the same page.”
“Uh, yeah… Sure,” Tom said leaning back off the table a bit.
“I’m a law-abiding citizen who would rather not hear about anything illegal done by you or anyone you know because I don’t want to be put into the position of knowing something that should be reported.”
“So, should we call this appointment off?” Steph asked while looking Mike square in the eye with all seriousness. “Maybe call it a day and I go home?”
“But you’re going to tell me something about someone who has died? Did you have anything to do with it?”
With a worried look on his face, Mike fidgeted in his chair for a couple of seconds then looked down, then back up and said, “Yes, and no… Or at least I don’t think so, but maybe I did?”
“No wonder you sat in the car for the past 30 minutes wondering if you should come in,” Steph blurted out, overcompensating for the fact she didn’t know what else to say at that moment.
Steph leaned into the table and in a hushed tone suggested, “How about we do this? I’ll ask a question and you answer. At any time, if you think the answer you will give shouldn’t be answered because it would go against my disclaimer, then all you have to do is tell me this conversation is over, and we will each go on our merry way, and that’s it. Sound good?”
“I guess…” Mike answered shrugging his shoulders.
“Good. Because I don’t want to hear anything illegal; I’m sorry to put it this way, but do you understand? Have I made myself clear?”