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I ran up the steps, cursing myself for not bringing the phone downstairs with me and hoping to get to it before it stopped ringing.
"Yeah?" I didn't have time to see who was calling.
"It's about time ... where you in the john?" said Uncle Billy.
"No," I panted, "just downstairs."
"What were you doing there?"
"What do you want, Uncle?"
"I need you to pick me up."
"Where are you?"
There was pause.
"Alma Beeler's," said Billy.
I smiled. "So, the crab leg buffet wasn't enough, eh?"
"You just couldn't resist, could you? Just come and get me, okay?"
"Can't Alma give you a ride home?"
"I told her you were taking me to the Red Wings game this afternoon."
"You lied to her?"
"Can you just come and get me ... please?"
"Okay, Uncle ... I'll pick you up ... but if Alma asks me anything, I'm not going to lie to her."
"She won't ... just pull into the driveway ... I'll come out."
I sighed. "All right ... when to you want me to come?"
"Right away ... I'll be watching for you."
"Why do you do this?"
"Don't give me a lecture. Do I tell you how to live your life?"
"I'm not telling you how to live your life ... I don't care if you spend the night with Alma Beeler ... I just don't like it that you're not truthful with her."
"Look, I don't want to talk about that right now. Will you just come and get me?"
"I'll be there."
"Oh, and if we see Clara at the apartments, don't say where I've been, okay?"