“So… what you’re suggesting is that you commit a crime, but that we make it look as if I did it. I go to prison for at least ten years and then my family finds a reporter to make a TV series about it.”

“Or a radio series.”

“No-one listens to the radio anymore.”

“They might in the future.”

“Why would-”

“Never mind that, never mind that. Minor detail.”

“So, they make a series or whatever and when I’m free, people pay me for my story?”

“I mean, you skipped over some details, but…”

“And you thought I would go for this? That I’d be happy to spend ten years in prison?”

Maybe ten. Could be more, could be less. I mean, you wouldn’t want it to be much less than a decade, ’cause you want people to feel properly sorry for you. Four years doesn’t seem too bad to most people, but you tell them ten, well, they take notice of that.”

“Still, that’s a big chunk of my life you’re talking about. You really thought I would go for that?”

“I just figured you didn’t have too much else going on at the moment.”

“I lost my job a week ago.”

“Yeah… but what’s next? I mean, really? Another retail job? Shift supervisor in 18 months, maybe deputy manager in three years? You’ve got to start thinking bigger.”

Prison is your idea of ‘thinking bigger’?”

“Not just prison, man. Prison for life. Convicted murderer. Tell me that doesn’t sound dope as fuck.”

“I mean… it does sound kind of gangsta…”

“Yeeeeahhh boyyyyeeeee!”

“But what about Hayley? I wouldn’t want her life to be ruined because of this.”

“Oh, it wouldn’t, trust me.”

“You don’t understand. We’ve been talking about getting engaged, starting a family…”

“Hate to be the one to break it to you, but that ain’t gonna happen.”

“You don’t know what you’re talking about. We argue sometimes, but she’s my girl.”

“She may be your girl, but are you her man? Her only man?”

“Don’t even start with that.”

“You’re all love struck. You can’t see it.”

“Listen, you better stop talking that way. We’re friends and your half-cocked notions are fun for a while, but don’t make up nasty stuff about people.”

“I’m telling you for your own good. Everyone knows about Hayley. and the guys she’s been with. Nobody wants tell you to your face, though. They’re laughing at you, man.“

“She wouldn’t… She… Who’s she supposed to have been with?”

“Pick a name.”

“You’re the one with all the information, you tell me.”

“OK, how about… that skinny guy in the coffee shop? The one with the thing on his face?”

“Him? No. Get the fuck out of here.”

“I swear to you. Pauline saw them at Pete’s cousin’s party. You remember, the one you couldn’t go to because you had that gastric flu?”

“That’s… I mean… that’s just Pauline talking.”

“And – oh fuck, speaking of – Pete’s cousin? Not that one, the other one? With the-?”

“-really shitty tattoos. God. That guy?”

“Yeah. And you know what his reputation’s like. He must have done some some raw shit with her. Like nasty, nasty business.”

“I can’t believe this…”

“I’m telling you, girl even tried it on with me a couple of times.”

“Oh yeah?”

“Yeah. I told her it was highly inappropriate for her to be acting that way, given that you and me go way back, but the girl can’t stop herself. All stroking my arm and touching my stuff.”

“Really?”

“Really.”

“And what did you do?”

“That’s not important. What matters is that you shouldn’t be making this decision based on Hayley. The girl is not a factor in your decision.”

“Hm.”

“Unless…”

“Unless what?”

“I don’t know. I’m just thinking out loud here, but what if… I mean, maybe there’s an opportunity here. A chance to combine two problems into one solution.”

“Honestly, all the talk around the subject…”

“I’m just saying. If we’re serious about this whole ‘wrongly convicted’ plan-”

“Which we’re not.”

“-and Hayley’s a problem, then maybe we work her into the equation.”

“What are you saying?”

“You know what I’m saying.”

“I’m not sure I do. You’re saying… you’re saying we should kill Hayley?”

“I’m not saying that. I never said that. You said that.”

“But I don’t want to kill Hayley.”

“I don’t want to kill Hayley either.”

“Good.”

“But if she were to be murdered, her infidelities would probably make you a prime suspect.”

“Stop it. This is crazy. I can’t talk about this any more.”

“Yeah, you’re right.”

“Thank you.”

“Prior agreement would be conspiracy. You’ve got to have credible deniability”

“Listen, a joke’s a joke, but I’m going to make myself plain. I don’t want you talking like this, OK?”

“I hear you. Let’s not speak about it again.”

“No, no, no. No talking. No doing. Anything. You understand?”

“Yeah. I get it. You have to say that.”

“No, I’m saying it for real. This topic of conversation is closed, OK?”

“Sure. Done. Finished. Finito.”

“Great.”

“Until the reporters come.”

“What?”

“Nothing.”

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