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from A Test of Loyalty by Laurie Stewart

Part 15
Faraj and Samantha

“We’re alone, I checked.”
“Did you check under the stalls?”
There was a shuffling noise. I imagined them staring at my stall as if they could sense me here. My throat got dry, I had to cough. My nose itched. My head was feeling light, and I realized that I’d stopped breathing again.
I thought about those men in London, barely older than me. Would they have been squatting here in fear, trapped in a toilet? No, they’d have been brave. They would’ve stayed hidden to protect Fadi’s package, but they’d have courage in their hearts, not terror. Slowly, my racing heart slowed, its pounding in my ears subsided and I could hear the men more clearly.
Why, they weren’t cops. They weren’t looking for me; they were doing some sort of drug deal. I almost laughed out loud in relief.
“Do you have the shit?” That was the sniffing one; though he sounded more like he had a cold now.
“Course I do, you got the money?”
“Give it to me.”
“Gimme my money first. A thousand bucks, all of it.”
“A thousand! I don’t owe you shit. Just the forty for this.”
“You fucking do! You never paid for that party, man. Remember, what’s her name’s birthday. You said you’d sell the stuff at the party and pay me after.”
“I paid you for that already.”
“You paid me twenty bucks, man. That was a thousand worth of shit.”
I leaned back as quietly as I could. It looked like they were going to be here ...

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