“Is that your twin brother?” the police officer asked Mark as Gregg was being strapped into a gurney, broken pencil sticking out of his left eyeball. Mark couldn’t hear the question because his girlfriend was screaming.

“Never heard even a siren that loud before,” Mark said to the cop who twisted his head firmly and shoved him into the cruiser. Mark wanted to laugh but he was congested and coughed instead. He thought about how bad and phlegm-like the custard tasted in jail, when it slid down the back of his throat.

Growing up, his Dad made him sit there until he finished. He forced the tapioca down, swallow by swallow, eyes closed and nose pinched, until the very last spoonful was gone. Then there was the time Gregg quickly switched bowls while his eyes were closed, his full for Mark’s empty. Dad’s belt raised quarter inch welts on his ass that time.

Mark couldn’t possibly remember all the incidents but there were many similar to this–Gregg did things and Mark took the hit.

He never considered Gregg hitting on his girlfriend until he stopped by today and overheard the grunts and squeaks. “She said she loved him,” he told the cop.

“Love is fucking blind,” the cop sneered.

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