I’m six-years-old and have told a lie. “Mom said I could go home with Mitch.” I leave school early with my cousin and our grandfather. Mitch is Underdog to my Polly Purebread fears. He’s my hero. My pulse doesn’t flutter like a swallowed bird in my throat when we’re together. We pedal bikes through the apricot orchards, watch cartoons, roam horse barns, climb the haystacks. Our grandfather catches me in the lie when my mother panics, not finding me at school. “Always tell the truth,” he chastises us. My cousin does. He becomes a cop. Me; I write fiction.