A or B?
Pat motioned me over to him and pointed to the bedroom. "In there Mike" he said.
In there. The words hit me hard. In there was my best friend lying on the floor dead. The body. Now I could call it that. Yesterday, it was Jack Williams, the same guy that shared a mud bed with me through two years of warfare in the stinking slime of the jungle. Jack, the guy who said he'd give his right arm for a friend, and did when he stopped a Jap bastard from slitting me in two. He caught the bayonet in his biceps and they amputated his arm.
Pat didn't say a word. He let me uncover the body and feel the cold face. For the first time in my life I felt like crying. "Where did he get it Pat?"
"In the stomach. Better not look at it. The Killer carved the nose off a forty-five and gave it to him low."
Three faces have resolved into place above the summer-weight sports coats and half-Windsors across the polished pine conference table shiny with the splintered light of an Arizona afternoon. These are three deans - of Admissions, Academic Affairs, Athletic Affairs. I do not know which face belongs to whom.
I believe I appear neutral, maybe even pleasant, although I've been coached to err on the side of neutrality and not attempt what would feel to me like a pleasant expression or smile.
I have committed to crossing my legs, I hope carefully, ankle on knee, hands together on in the lap of my slacks. My fingers are matted into a mirrored series of what manifests to me, as the letter X. The interview room's other personnel include: the University's Director of Composition, its varsity tennis coach, and the Academy's prorector's Mr. A. Delint. C.T. is beside me, the others sit, stand and stand, respectively at the periphery of my focus. The tennis coach jingles pocket-change. There is something vaguely digestive about the the room's odor. The high-traction sole of my complimentary Nike sneaker, runs parallel to the wobbling loafer of my mother's half-brother, here in his capacity as Headmaster, sitting in the chair to my immediate right, also facing the Deans.