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You did listen.” He sat back, nodding his head. “Okay, then. Now tell me what you really thought.””I told you. It was interesting.””Interesting,” he said, “is not a word.””Since when?””It’s a placeholder. Something you use when you don’t want to say something else.” He leaned a little closer to me. “Look, if you’re worried about my feelings, don’t be. You can say whatever you want. I won’t be offended.””I did. I liked it.””Tell the truth. Say something. Anything. Just spit it out.””I—” I began, then stopped myself. Maybe it was the fact that he was so clearly on to me. Or my sudden awareness of how rarely I was honest. Either way, I broke. “I… I didn’t like it,” I said.He slapped his leg. “I knew it! You know, for someone who lies a lot, you’re not very good at it.”This was a good thing. Or not? I wasn’t sure. “I’m not a liar,” I said.”Right. You’re nice,” he said.”What’s wrong with nice?””Nothing. Except it usually involves not telling the truth,” he replied. “Now. Tell me what you really thought.

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