“But I need to—”

“You don’t need to do anything, George.” Clay sounds exasperated. “You don’t need to feed me, I see those sun chips you bought. Which are my favorite, by the way, so thanks. And I have my own computer now, so you don’t need to set anything up. I’m fine. Go to bed.”

George can’t help it, but he softens at the look of Clay’s concerned lip pout. “A-alright,” he concedes. Clay gives a satisfied smile, and finally leaves George’s bedside.

George rolls into his blankets, closing his eyes to try to sleep like Clay had instructed. But for some reason, he just isn’t tired. Something is nagging at his mind, but George isn’t quite sure what it is. Something felt weird, ever since the beach night. Like something unspoken was hanging in the air. But, it was probably just George imagining things.

After staring at the smiley face pins on the back of Clay’s head for about a minute, George speaks up. “Hey, Clay?”

His friend looks over his shoulder. “What is it, George?”

“Why didn’t you run away from the old lady’s shop? You said you were there for a while, right?”

Clay gives a cute little wheeze. “George, don’t tell me you want a bedtime story?”