The Power of the Exiled – Ch 3 part 3

So chapter 3 is longer than chapter 2

Andrew walked towards the office, not knowing what would happen. Part of him thought that it would be better to not show up at all, to skip out on the rest of school and run away. But, he realized, that would be no good. It would be better for him to talk to his father and try to not reveal anything about the dreams he had or what was supposed to happen later that afternoon.

Easier said than done. He never lied to his parents before. They were all taught at a young age why it was bad to lie. Both his teachers and his parents instilled in him all the bad things that happened to those who lied.

When he entered the hallway where the offices were, his heart started to beat harder. He had to force himself to open the door and let the secretary know he was called. He had to play it cool in order to not raise any suspicions. He took a deep breath before he and his father were led into a conference room. They sat across from each other.

“Hello Father. Missed you this morning at breakfast.”

“Hello Andrew. I had to go into work early today.”

“Something important?”

“Yes, you could say that. In fact, it’s the same reason I’m here at your school. I needed to ask you a few questions.”

“Is this going to take a while father? I’m supposed to be in Philosophy. We were debating the Government’s abortion policies.”

Mr. Entschied paused to take out a notepad and paper. “What is your teacher’s name again?”

“Mr. Lopez. Why? He didn’t do anything wrong by having the class discuss it right?”

“What? Oh, no no… he didn’t break any laws. Did you say anything about Eileen?”

“No Father, I was saved at the last minuet by you coming by.” Andrew managed to give a half smile.

“Uh-huh…” Mr. Entschied went into his briefcase and got out the folder that Lord Duffy had shown him earlier that morning. He slid the photo of Miles out of the folder and slid it in front of Andrew. “Andrew, I called you out of class to ask you if you had seen this man?”

Andrew looked at the photo. It must have been taken right after Miles was captured. There was a bruise on his cheek, like he didn’t go quietly. And he had the same look of defiance in his eyes that he had in his dream. It seems that even a month in captivity and forced exilement couldn’t take it away. But now came the hard part. “No Father, I have never seen this man before. Who is he?”

Mr. Entschied ignored his son’s question and pulled out the newspaper column. “This was hidden in the newspaper code this morning. Did you see it yet?”

“Yes, Mother was talking about it this morning. But I didn’t get a chance to read it yet.” That wasn’t a lie. Though the second copy of the inflammatory column was still in the bottom of his backpack, Andrew had been too busy to read it. He had decided not to look at it until he was alone, maybe in the library.

“Well, this column is full of lies. Don’t read it. Don’t believe a word of it. It’s just spreading lies and hate about the Government. Have any of your friends mentioned it?”

“Actually I haven’t heard anyone talking about it. But we’re not very likely to read the paper on our own in the morning.” Andrew had a feeling that his father and everyone else would say that the column was totally false. Still he really wanted to read it for himself and see what they had to say. His mother got his interest piqued when she said something about the column denouncing the Government’s control of the media. Mr. Entschied studied his son. “So you’ve never seen that man before?”

“No, why, should I?”

Mr. Entschied leaned back in his chair and studied his son. His intense gaze made Andrew look away after a few seconds but he tried his hardest not to squirm or anything else that would reveal to his father that he was lying to his face. “No, I suppose not. We didn’t publicize his arrest that much anyway,” Mr. Entschied mumbled to himself more than to his son. “Sorry, Andrew, I just had to ask you because something that man said makes us believe that he is still active, despite being Exiled.”

Andrew tried really hard not to react by suddenly becoming fixated by his father’s briefcase. Andrew could remember when he gave it as a holiday present almost seven years ago. He had saved up for weeks to buy the genuine leather briefcase. It held up remarkably well after seven years of daily abuse by his father. “It’s fine Father. I’m sorry I couldn’t help any more.”

“Oh no, Andrew. I’m glad you couldn’t give any information or anything like that. Means you’re not involved with this man. He’s a really dangerous man, and we’re trying to track down who has been helping him spread his message of hate and lies. I knew you wouldn’t be involved in that kind of thing, but I had to ask anyway. Lord Duffy put me in charge of the new investigation.”

“Congratulations Father!” Andrew got up from his chair, hoping the hardest part was over. Mr. Entschied rose from his chair as well.

“Thank you Andrew. Besides, if you are involved with this man, you would have been lying to me this whole time, and I know you better than that!” He chuckled. Andrew had to force himself to chuckle along with his father.

“Will I see you at dinner?”

Mr. Entschied grimaced. “I don’t know Andrew. This investigation is really important. I’ll have to see.” He put his folder back into his briefcase. “Tell your mother I will know whether I can be home in time for dinner later this afternoon.”

They walked out of the office and into the hallway together. They stopped in front of the main door, which only visitors used often. “Well it was nice seeing you Father.” One last lie.

Mr. Entschied nodded. “Keep up the good work. I’ll see you at home. And then he was gone. Most likely back to his work to continue on that investigation. Andrew slowly walked back to his part of the building. He needed to go to his next class…  He hoped to Almighty that his father didn’t suspect that he knew Miles, if even through the dreams he’d been having. It was uncomfortable to sit and lie to his father’s face to say the least, but he knew something terrible would happen if his father found out. He would be dragged down to his father’s work and interrogated for real. Andrew shuddered at that thought and decided to skip his second class to go to the library and read the forbidden  column.

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