Decree of Hope

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Abe waited outside, because the warden wouldn’t let us both in. Jackson wouldn’t have talked to him anyway. But geez being here gave me the creeps. Even from the other side of the glass, this place reminded me of the black hole.

I sat down on the stool.

“Thanks for coming,” Jackson said.

I pushed the button to talk. “Jackson, what happened that night?”

“I don’t know.”

I sighed. “You were in the building. Don’t tell me you don’t know. Who burned down the mosque?”

“I don’t know.”

“Don’t lie to me.” I sighed.

“Kailee, you think I like sitting in here? If I knew, I would tell you.”

“If you tell me the truth, I can help you.”

“Don’t go lookin’ for details,” he snapped.

“Why? Don’t you want to get out of here?”

“Kailee, leave this alone.”

“Who is Rana?”

His eyes grew wide. “What do you know about Rana?”


“Okay. Don’t tell anyone. Is she looking for money?”

“Is she an extortionist?”

“Kailee, don’t talk about this!”

“How would I tell anyone? I don’t know who she is.”

Jackson waved down a guard. He said something, but he wasn’t pushing the button so I couldn’t hear. The guard nodded to my brother. Jackson stood and the guard led him away from the glass window. He didn’t want me to know what happened badly enough that he went back to his cell.

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